Opposing View: Absence makes the ball move faster
16-year old Harvey Elliott looks to the skies as his colleagues jet to the other side of the globe (Photo: Getty Images)

As a wave of emotion flooded the decision of Jurgen Klopp to splash away from Anfield for the second time this season, his Under-23 side drowned out the giant-killing intentions of Shrewsbury Town.

It's almost as if the German has put himself on a pedestal; as untouchable as an exotic holiday to the Maldives, Dubai or USA to many a regular football fan. The message is clear - these Red teenagers must prove their value before taking a flight to Klopp's office, just as Fabinho, Roberto Firmino, Georgino Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold have done before jetting off to their respective exotic destinations.

The ticket is being waved towards the youngsters, an average age of 19 for the Shrewsbury adventure, the equivalent of a University student in their early days of exploring a career ahead of them - dream holidays a mere sunrise in the distance.

Klopp dialled in before, during and after a cold night in Liverpool. James Milner's advice was omnipresent - not quite a passport to the future but the first step on a map that could lead members of what is essentially Liverpool's third team to a glamorous future at Anfield.

Work and play

Meanwhile, it was training as normal for the Norwich City squad. Whilst their next opponents could enjoy the luxuries of the biggest cushion at the head of the table in Premier League history, the Canaries settled in for a training camp, looking to pitch their tent against the growing gale force of relegation.

The Shrewsbury game may not have been too central on the Norwich scouting radar with only two of those individuals involved experiencing a matter of minutes in the Premier League. 22 senior players were on their holidays.

But, rest assured, those missing will only be too aware of the quality coming through the youth ranks. Despite being 22 points clear with only 39 left on the table, not one Liverpool player has even hinted that the silverware is guaranteed to land in the Anfield trophy cabinet.

Rested, recovered, rejuvenated and reenergised, these senior players will be as hungry as the young hopefuls on their return, ready to tuck back into the all-inclusive dishes of the Premier League.

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Joining the party

Whilst it is hard to compare the five-star quality of the top-flight with the budget destination of League One, the team that included seven teenagers in the starting eleven and piloted by a captain barely 19 harboured comparisons to their more established peers.

With more than 12% possession on Tuesday night compared to the senior squad's season average, the young pretenders were just 34 passes short of the numerical mean in Liverpool's Premier League season.

The new kids looking to make an impact on the party scene average a pass success rate just 3% short of their senior colleagues. Pace, passion and intensity, these youngsters are capable of lasting until final orders every night of the week, albeit some are barely at the age to contemplate such a feat.

Such a performance, following in the footsteps of another FA Cup success story against Everton with only a handful of senior Reds spreading their wings, not only bolsters the heat on the internationals but also provides further options for Klopp.

With Atletico Madrid in the Champions League just three days later, Klopp could be tempted to extend the rest period for some of his trusted passengers. Then again, he very rarely adjusts his luggage for English adventures and there is still an unbeaten record to maintain...

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