New Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius is unlikely to be on Olympics duty for Germany this summer, adding to the first-team players available from the off this pre-season.
There have been suggestions that Karius would be taking part in Rio 2016, which would have meant the new signing missing part of pre-season and Liverpool’s first two Premier League matches of 2016/17.
However, the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce claims Liverpool are not expecting the 22-year-old German to be called up for his country.
That would be a significant boost for Liverpool, with the £4.7 million signing benefiting from a full pre-season and being able to challenge Simon Mignolet immediately for the opening game of the season at Arsenal on 13th August.
With Karius and fellow new arrivals Joel Matip and Marko Grujic all able to commence pre-season when the non-internationals begin their preparations on July 2nd, it means some strong teams will be available to Jurgen Klopp in the early friendlies.
Indeed, Karius, Matip, Grujic, Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho (depending UEFA ban outcome), Alberto Moreno, Jon Flanagan, Joe Gomez, Lucas Leiva, Kevin Stewart, Jordon Ibe, Lazar Markovic, Sheyi Ojo, Luis Alberto, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, and Danny Ings should all be available when the players take to the pitch for their first friendly at Tranmere in just over a fortnight (Friday, 8th July).
That will give Klopp plenty of time to work with some of his first-team players, especially the defence with Karius, Matip, Lovren, Moreno and Sakho able to start building an understanding together.
Liverpool’s non-Euros players return for training on July 2nd, whereas those involved at the Euros will likely join up with their teammates on the American tour in late July. Klopp wants the training camp in Northern California to be the ideal preparation for the new season and will have new backroom staff in place by then too.
Liverpool FC pre-season 2016/17 dates:
- July 8 – Tranmere Rovers (a) 7pm BST
- July 13 – Fleetwood Town (a) 7pm BST
- July 17 – Wigan Athletic (a) 4pm BST
- July 20 – Huddersfield Town (a) 7.45pm BST
- July 27 – Chelsea (Rose Bowl; Pasadena) 8:30pm PST (4.30am BST, July 28)
- July 30 – AC Milan (Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara) 7pm PST (3am BST, July 31)
- Aug 1 – Roma (Busch Stadium; St. Louis) 7.30pm CT (1.30am BST, Aug 2)
- August 6 – Barcelona (Wembley) 5pm BST
- August 7 – Mainz (a) 2.45pm BST