Liverpool trio make Jurgen Klopp sit up and take notice in pre-season opener

A trio of Liverpool players made Jurgen Klopp sit up and take notice on their opening night of pre-season on Tuesday.

The Reds played two matches, each lasting just 30 minutes, against Austrian second-division outfit Wacker Innsbruck and Bundesliga side Stuttgart.

Both short games were 1-1 draws, with Divock Origi and Sadio Mane getting on the scoresheet, respectively.

Jurgen Klopp is scheming to bring the Premier League title back to Anfield following his team’s third-place finish as defending champions in the Premier League last season.

The German manager picked out three players he was impressed with, all of whom will be looking to prove themselves this term and gain a significant number of minutes in 2021-22.

Three Liverpool players made Jurgen Klopp sit up and take notice
Three Liverpool players made Jurgen Klopp sit up and take notice
(Image: LFCTV)

Speaking to Liverpool’s website, Klopp revealed that Harvey Elliott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and new signing Ibrahima Konate were standouts as they operated in different positions.

Elliott, who impressed on loan at Blackburn Rovers in the Championship over the course of the last campaign, was the most advanced in a midfield three, while Oxlade-Chamberlain played in Roberto Firmino’s ‘False Nine’ role.

Liverpool paid RB Leipzig £36 million to bring centre-back Konate to Anfield in May, and the Frenchman partnered Rhys Williams at the heart of defence rather than being part of a three-man back line like he was for his ex-employers in East Germany.

“I don’t think Harvey had ever played that position for us, but looked good,” affirmed Klopp.

Harvey Elliott impressed as part of a midfield three as Liverpool drew 1-1 with Stuttgart in a short pre-season friendly
Harvey Elliott impressed as part of a midfield three as Liverpool drew 1-1 with Stuttgart in a short pre-season friendly

“Ox you could see in the first few minutes immediately that it is an option, definitely. We will see how that goes on.

“Ibou did really well and that’s what we expected, he looks really good in training.”

The Reds boss made note of how impressed he was with the youngsters who featured but made sure to acknowledge the pre-season context during his assessment.

“First game with all the young boys, they have really showed up in training but it is different than when you play a first-team with all the kids together in the team,” he admitted.

“It is tough, but no problem – life is tough and we have to give them the opportunity to get tested in these kind of games.”

“We do that and now we carry on.”

Who else do Liverpool need to sign this summer to bring the Premier League title back to Anfield? Comment below.

The 54-year-old also added: “It was a workout and it was good. Physically it was all that we wanted to see, we had to do it and it was an important test for that.

“From a football point of view, obviously a lot of space for improvement; I saw a lot of wild pressing,” noted the gaffer.

“We wanted a wild press, we had a little competition between the two teams to see who wins the ball back more and how many counter-presses we have.

Klopp continued: “I saw what I expected to see, actually – it would be strange if I was standing here and saying, ‘My god, I didn’t know we can play this kind of football’ but I am fine with it and now we keep working.”

Liverpool next face German opposition in the form of his former club Mainz on Friday, and Klopp provided an update on whether two long-term absentees would be invovled.

“It would be a surprise, to me as well,” he said regarding Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

“They have looked really good in training and yesterday was the first day where they did very complex things, usually it is either offensive or defensive and stuff like this.

“We have to get there, step by step, but I don’t expect them for Friday.”

Do you want an exclusive pre-season preview of YOUR club – both in your inbox and through your letterbox? Head over here to find out more and secure your copy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *