Liverpool’s academy sides returned to the club’s Kirkby training facility on Thursday for pre-season training.
Michael Beale, Neil Critchley and Liverpool’s youth staff have welcomed their squads, including a new-look U21s group, back ahead of another long campaign in 2016/17.
Though Jurgen Klopp‘s first team are not set to reconvene until Saturday, training has already kicked off in Kirkby.
The likes of Adam Phillips, Joe Maguire, Harry Wilson and Tom Brewitt are all likely to be involved, although Sheyi Ojo, Connor Randall, Cameron Brannagan and Pedro Chirivella should link up with Klopp and his senior ranks at the weekend instead.
Phillips is among those to step up from the U18s to join Beale’s squad for the new season, along with Herbie Kane, Conor Masterson and Toni Gomes.
A host of familiar faces won’t take part, however, as Liverpool have released a number of young players this summer.
Jerome Sinclair completed his free transfer to Watford on Thursday morning, with the Reds receiving £4 million in compensation, while Jordan Rossiter will officially join Rangers on Friday.
Former Crewe Alexandra midfielder Daniel Trickett-Smith joined United Soccer League side Sacramento Republic, and scored against Beale’s side in a friendly clash in May.
Meanwhile, Joao Carlos Teixeira joined Portuguese side FC Porto in mid-June, with the Reds receiving a meagre compensation fee of just £250,000.
Sinclair, Trickett-Smith, Rossiter and Teixeira were all believed to have bright futures on Merseyside, but injury and first-team competition hampered their long-term prospects.
Alex O’Hanlon, Daniel Cleary, Ryan McLaughlin, Kristof Polgar, Will Marsh and Samed Yesil are also set to leave the club.
Beale could be preparing for significant changes away from his U21s squad in 2016/17, with the young Reds’ fixture schedule potentially set to alter.
For starters, a number of Premier League sides are in talks to take part in the rebranded English Football League Trophy, formerly the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, potentially allowing a Liverpool U23 side to compete.
Liverpool were set to make a decision on whether to take part on Monday night, however earlier reports suggested that reservations were held over its benefits.
Furthermore, the U23 basis may be extended to encompass a new league structure, Premier League II—similar to that seen in the Bundesliga—though talks are yet to be concluded.
This would mean that fixtures would take place at Anfield, with reduced ticket prices designed to encourage more supporters to attend.
For now however, Beale, Critchley and their young charges will take to training in earnest, ahead of what will be a long and gruelling campaign.