Liverpool finished their pre-season with a 3-1 win over French side Olympique Lyonnais, which saw more first-team players getting valuable minutes in their legs.
Number one goalkeeper Alisson played just over an hour and recovered well from his howler in the opening few minutes to make a number of important saves.
Both Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah started and played 30 and 45 minutes respectively. After looking lacklustre in attack in previous pre-season games, they both impressed and helped the Reds play with fluidity.
There are many positive and potentially worrying talking points from Liverpool’s pre-season, which need further discussion. Here are five things that have been learnt from Liverpool’s pre-season.
Up and Coming Youngsters
Over the pre-season period, Jurgen Klopp has heavily rotated his team and allowed lots of youngsters to make their mark in the team.
Whilst they have all impressed over pre-season, two, in particular, have caught people’s eye. Both Rhian Brewster and Harry Wilson have had terrific pre-seasons and now look to the new season. Klopp has already stated before that Brewster will play an important role in the squad and could be used to fill the void of Daniel Sturridge as a natural goal-scorer.
Wilson’s role in the squad is still to be confirmed; however Klopp has said, “We will see what happens the next eight or nine days until the window closes. He is obviously a really good player and I was really happy with him in the whole pre-season.”
Packed Fixture List
The current champions of Europe are set to have a busy season and will play in seven competitions over the next 10 months. On top of the four English cup competitions, Liverpool will also play in the Super Cup, Champions League and the new FIFA World Club Cup. This means that Klopp’s side will be playing two games nearly every week for the duration of the season and has left the German frustrated.
“We sit here and it sounds like I am having a moan or whatever. It is just the situation, in the long-term, is not acceptable,” he said last week in an interview.
It is apparent that this packed fixture list could cause Liverpool problems with injuries and could see them lose momentum in their pursuit of winning their first Premier League.
The last couple of seasons have seen Liverpool’s front three in Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane become one the most feared attacking line-ups in Europe.
However, pre-season has shown that the Reds have a number of forwards who are able to score goals.
Hero of Liverpool’s win in the Champions League final Divock Origi has impressed during pre-season, scoring three goals. Many expect the Belgian to continue his form from last season and provide important goals.
Another player who scored important goals last season was Xherdan Shaqiri. An impressive first-half of the season made him difficult to drop; however, he barely featured after New Year. Whilst many fans have forgotten about him and have pleaded to sign a back up forward, let's not forget the vital role that he played last year. It is to be expected that the Swiss international, now back from a calf injury, will continue to improve and will contribute goals throughout the season.
During pre-season, Liverpool have been linked with many potential signings. However, they have only signed two players in the transfer window.
Sepp Van Den Berg was signed first from Zwolle for £4million. The second signing was Harvey Elliott from Fulham for an undisclosed amount. Whilst both of these signings may not be record transfer fees or world-class players, they are both bright youngsters for the future.
This shows that Klopp has a lot of trust in his current squad and has opted to sign potential squad players and future first-team players than making a big signing. Many Liverpool fans would have preferred to see Klopp expanding on his first-team squad to build on their Champions League win.
However, it is debatable that with an already extremely talented squad, there was no need to spend big money.
Lallana in the Six
Adam Lallana is now one of the more senior players in the Liverpool ranks. As more young attacking players flourish at Anfield, Lallana has struggled to maintain his fitness at gain game time. During pre-season, we have seen him play the holding midfield role and has looked lively from the new position. Whilst many fans fail to understand Lallana’s worth at Liverpool, Klopp believes in his quality. Don’t be surprised to see the former England international start a game this season in the six position.