Jack Dunn nets twice as Liverpool U23s continue pre-season with win over Celtic

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Liverpool U23s striker Jack Dunn scored both goals as the young Reds defeated Celtic in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

Michael Beale’s side continued their preparations for the 2016/17 on Wednesday evening, taking on the Scottish side’s development squad in Glasgow.

After an excellent 4-1 victory over Rhyl FC on Sunday afternoon, Liverpool looked to build momentum heading into the new campaign.

Beale named a strong side, with Caoimhin Kelleher lining up between the sticks, behind a back four of Joe Maguire, Tom Brewitt, Kane Lewis and a trailist—likely ex-Barcelona youth, Juanma.

Matty Virtue and Adam Phillips took up their regular positions in midfield, while Harry Wilson, Toni Gomes and Ben Woodburn, fresh from his spell with Jurgen Klopp’s first team, supported Dunn in attack.

Liverpool dominated throughout, with the experience of Maguire, Wilson and Dunn among others proving influential.

Dunn’s double sealed the plaudits for the Reds, making it two wins, a draw and a defeat in their pre-season fixtures so far.

This marks a return to form for the 21-year-old striker, who spent much of the 2015/16 sidelined through injury.

Making his comeback with a significantly bulkier build, Dunn looks capable of testing himself at a higher level—though it seems unlikely that it will be under Klopp this season.

The local lad is poised to follow Ryan Kent through the Anfield exit this summer, as one of a host of loan departures lined up to ensure Beale enters 2016/17 with a streamlined squad.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 19, 2016: Liverpool's Daniel Trickett-Smith celebrates scoring the first goal against Leeds United during the Under-21 Premier League Cup match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The U23s will take part in a revamped Premier League 2 setup this season, aimed at aiding development and providing young players with more of a challenge as they ready themselves for first-team involvement.

Lloyd Jones, Sam Hart, Conor Masterson, Corey Whelan, Herbie Kane and Brooks Lennon also featured on Wednesday.

Joining them from the substitutes’ bench was another trialist, Nathan Phillips, and 19-year-old midfielder Brad Garton, who has recently returned from a loan spell with Norwegian Second Division side Elverum.

Beale has revealed that Liverpool are hoping to field a side with the “average age of 19” throughout the Premier League 2 campaign, casting doubt over the futures of many.

Teenage trio Shamal George, Ovie Ejaria and Trent Alexander-Arnold are all set to return to the fold when the first team arrives back from their tour of the US, for example, likely crowding out the older members of Beale’s squad.

Liverpool’s U23s are next in action against Morecambe at the Globe Arena on July 30, while they will kick off their Premier League 2 season against Southampton at Prenton Park on August 14.



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