Liverpool fly to California on Thursday, after their fourth domestic friendly against Huddersfield Town on Wednesday night, but who doesn’t get on the plane to America could be telling.
So far this pre-season, Jurgen Klopp has used 24 different players, with two more – young goalkeeper Shamal George and academy player Herbie Kane – as unused substitutes.
Not all of those 24 will head to America, where the Reds will be based in Palo Alto, California and train at Stanford University’s impressive campus ahead of games against Chelsea and AC Milan.
Adam Bogdan, who appeared against Tranmere and Fleetwood won’t be travelling, with the goalkeeper joining Wigan on loan for the season instead.
He could be replaced by veteran goalkeeper Alex Manninger though, should Klopp opt to make his trial a permanent move this summer.
The five England players involved at the Euros head Stateside on Thursday, with the Belgium trio also joining the squad on Friday. Striker Divock Origi is already in America, enjoying the final days of his three-week holiday in Las Vegas.
Emre Can and Joe Allen will then join up with the squad the following week.
37 players is clearly too much and Klopp has indicated the squad will be trimmed, telling reporters on Sunday: “It makes no sense to stay in the squad and be in the squad when you don’t have a real opportunity to play.”
Already the manager has discarded midfielder Luis Alberto and striker Mario Balotelli, with neither used in the pre-season games so far and clearly showing their futures lie away from Anfield.
So who else might Klopp similarly discard in order to reduce his squad size? Will Balotelli and Alberto even travel to the States? It seems unlikely.
Ilori will leave the camp at some stage, in order to join up with Portugal in Brazil for the Olympics.
Markovic has been subject of interest from Portugal, potentially over a season-loan, and Lucas is being linked as a possible makeweight with Newcastle for Georginio Wijnaldum.
Klopp may opt to take players such as Ryan Kent along to America in order to get a good look at them and impart his tactics upon them further, but Kent is one you expect will eventually be loaned out this summer.
2016/17 Squad Size
Last season, Liverpool used a pretty incredible 39 players (42 named in matchday squads) in all competitions. Of course, much of this was owing to the cup competitions and hugely rotated sides used in the FA Cup in particular.
That’s 10 more than the lowest, Leicester City, with 24 players used in the league.
With no European football on offer next season, and Klopp regularly speaking of the need for a smaller squad, there will be plenty of squad trimming to follow this summer.
Alberto and Balotelli will depart sooner or later, more likely later in the case of Balotelli – whether it be on loan deals again or permanently. There’s even talk of terminating Balotelli’s contract should there be no takers for him.
Ilori will likely depart, but probably after he returns from the Olympics, so another late move.
Fellow perennial loanee Andre Wisdom is another who will almost certainly leave, again either on loan or permanently.
Markovic, Lucas and Allen look highly likely to depart eventually too, especially if Wijnaldum is successfully signed. Benteke isn’t going to be staying around to play fifth/sixth choice striker.
Kent could be joined by Connor Randall in heading out on loan, while Pedro Chirivella could also leave the club in a temporary deal.
That leaves us with a squad of:
Goalkeepers: Karius, Mignolet, Manninger
Defenders: Clyne, Flanagan, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Sakho, Klavan, Moreno, new LB
Midfielders: Can, Henderson, Milner, Stewart, Grujic, Brannagan, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana, Ojo, Mane
Forwards: Sturridge, Origi, Ings
Mane and Firmino of course can be used as forwards too if required, then add in a new left-back as cover/competition for Alberto Moreno.
That gives us three goalkeepers, nine defenders (with a new left-back added), seven players capable of playing centre-midfield, six options for attacking midfielders, and five options for up front.
In total, that’s a squad of 27 players – a number you can imagine is around what Klopp is looking for next season.
The squad that begins the US tour will be large, but it will be trimmed down significantly by the time the transfer window closes at the end of August.
Those 26 names above, plus the addition of a left-back, look set to be the squad for Klopp’s first full season in charge of Liverpool.