Liverpool spent nine days in the US for their pre-season tour, taking on Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Sporting CP in Indiana, Boston and New York respectively. Albeit failing to register a win on American soil, there were several positives to be taken for Jurgen Klopp’s side, spanning across individual performances and wider fitness goals.
With the new 2019/20 Premier League season on the horizon, here are some of the standout performers across Liverpool’s pre-season thus far.
Rhian Brewster: Confidence Soaring For Young Starlet
Faced with the weight of expectation, Rhian Brewster has shone throughout during pre-season. Bagging three goals in the domestic friendlies before the US tour, the 19-year-old displayed awareness and experience beyond his years, contributing to Liverpool’s all-round play while showcasing what a ruthless finisher he can be.
Confident strikes amongst assured penalties, Brewster has shown signs that he can act as understudy to Roberto Firmino in the wake of Daniel Sturridge’s departure, dropping deep to get involved in the play while forcibly pressing possession and creating mistakes from the opposition.
While expectations should continue to be tempered so that the player can continue to grow, there is plenty of evidence as to why Klopp rates Brewster so highly. A standout performer despite only 88 minutes in the US, this could well be the year of Brewster.
Oxlade-Chamberlain: Mr ‘New Signing’
Cast your mind back to the end of last season and it was all about getting minutes under the belt for Oxlade-Chamberlain on his recovery from an ACL injury in the Champions League. The Englishman, while unable to make a real impact in business end of 2018/19, has featured in all three games during the US tour, playing an hour in each of them while showcasing why many perceive him to be a potent weapon for Liverpool next year.
The Reds lacked a creative spark in midfield at times during last season but the former-Arsenal man could yet prove to be the missing piece of the puzzle for Klopp, claiming an assist against Sporting while showing flexibility and acceleration to emphasise his ever improving fitness.
Divock Origi: Champions League Hero Gets Raging Reception
Few could’ve envisaged Divock Origi turning things round like he has.
Voted in Ligue 1’s worst team of the season before joining Wolfsburg and failing to impress in an unfamiliar position, Origi returned to Anfield determined to fight for a place in Klopp’s plans. What’s transpired has been nothing short of a miracle, becoming the Champions League hero with goals against Barcelona alongside a crucial second in Madrid against Tottenham.
Receiving a hero’s welcome in the US, goals against Sevilla and Sporting Lisbon emphasise his ruthlessness in front of goal; right place at the right time, his instincts could prove vital for Klopp in the coming season.