Injured Dejan Lovren left behind as Liverpool jet off to Spain for warm weather training camp

Injured Dejan Lovren left behind as Liverpool jet off to Spain for warm weather training camp

Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool departed for Spain on Wednesday, staying in La Manga on a warm weather mid-season training camp until Sunday, but left injured centre-back Dejan Lovren behind on Merseyside.

charlie-malam
Charlie Malam

Liverpool landed in La Manga on Wednesday evening for a five-day mid-season warm weather training camp, albeit without defender Dejan Lovren.

Jürgen Klopp has taken his squad to Spain in order to put them through a second "pre-season" to prepare them for the final few months of the campaign.

But the Croatian centre-back wasn't on board the flight from Merseyside having missed back-to-back games with a troubling knee injury - although one that is thought to be only minor.

The club thought it wiser for Lovren to remain on Merseyside and continue to undergo treatment as he bids to return for their next game, a visit to struggling reigning champions Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Monday February 27.

Otherwise, long-term absentees Danny Ings and Adam Bogdan were not included in the 27-man travelling party as they continue their rehabilitations from anterior cruciate ligament injuries, while Ovie Ejaria's ankle ligament injury and Marko Grujic's hamstring tendon issue meant they were also left out. 

Deputy centre-back Lucas Leiva has travelled, the 30-year-old having recovered from the problem that forced him off in the 2-0 Premier League win over Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.

Academy prospects Yan Dhanda and Conor Masterson join fellow youngsters Ben Woodburn, Trent Alexander-ArnoldSheyi Ojo, Harry Wilson and Connor Randall among regular first-team members.

Reds looking to recharge in sunny Spain

The Reds will be in Murcia for five days as they look not only to build on their fitness but work on various tactical aspects of their game and also bond as a squad.

The Liverpool team have had several days' break since the win over Spurs at Anfield last Saturday but will be well and truly put through their paces by Klopp and his staff in Spain, with double sessions planned.

Unlike their top-four rivals, Liverpool's fixture congestion has cleared - with only five games in their next 49 days having played 11 times within just 35 days across December, January and the start of February.

Speaking in the aftermath of their win over Spurs, Klopp declared that the team would "use" their break abroad to allow them to "go again and again and again" in their final 13 league games.

They were knocked out of the EFL Cup and the FA Cup last month, before setbacks in the league allowed leaders Chelsea to build a comfortable gap ahead of Liverpool - who were considered the Blues' closest challenges at the turn of the year. 

That means there are no excuses for Klopp's charges, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur all resuming European competitions in the coming weeks. 

Klopp has utilised La Manga break before

Liverpool also enquired about spending the week at St George's Park in Burton-upon-Trent, only to be told by the Football Association that it was in use, while Scotland and Wales were other possible destinations before they chose La Manga in the south east of Spain. 

The Reds boss has been to Murcia for training camps before when Borussia Dortmund manager, taking his squad to the five-star resort during the Bundesliga winter break in the 2014-15 season - his final year at the Westfalenstadion.

At that time, Dortmund languished towards the bottom end of the table having struggled for form but stirred to claim the division's final Europa League qualification spot by finishing seventh. 

Given the importance of the final few months of the current campaign, Liverpool will hope this trip has a similarly positive effect on them as they look to qualify for the Champions League for only the second time since crashing out of the group stages in 2009-10.

Their last time in the competition, in 2014-15, also saw them drop into the Europa League after finishing just third in their group under former boss Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool's training camp squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Simon Mignolet, Loris Karius, Alex Manninger.

Defenders: Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan, James Milner, Nathaniel Clyne, Alberto Moreno, Lucas Leiva, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Conor Randall, Conor Masterson.

Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Georginio Wijnaldum, Emre Can, Kevin Stewart.

Forwards: Sadio Mane, Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi, Philippe Coutinho, Sheyi Ojo, Harry Wilson, Yan Dhanda, Ben Woodburn.

Absent: Dejan Lovren, Danny Ings, Adam Bogdan, Ovie Ejaria and Marko Grujic.

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