Set to welcome his five England internationals back to action for Liverpool’s US tour, Jurgen Klopp is confident they will be raring to go.
Klopp’s summer plans have been hampered by his players’ involvement in the European Championship and Copa America Centenario, delaying progress at Melwood.
But with the Reds set to fly to the US for their lucrative pre-season jaunt shortly after Wednesday night’s clash away to Huddersfield Town, they will be joined by five key players.
Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge are all set to return after their disappointing spell with England.
The Three Lions crashed out in the last 16 of Euro 2016, following defeat to Iceland, with manager Roy Hodgson resigning on their exit.
This added to a miserable end to 2015/16, with Liverpool falling to a 3-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League final—something Klopp has admitted still haunts him.
Hodgson’s squad came under considerable criticism after Euro 2016, but despite this Klopp praised his players for their contributions in France, and said they would be ready for action.
“They have [had a good break] of three weeks,” he explained.
“No players came back with the Europa League final in their minds, so it’s a memory if you want.
“It’s an experience but as a human being you can suffer, that’s no problem, and we all suffered actually.
“But you then have to actually say, ‘okay, that’s it and let’s go again’. I’m pretty sure they will do this.
“Adam Lallana, especially, played really well in the European Championship. That was really good.
“Daniel Sturridge had a fantastic moment [against Wales], Nathaniel played really well in his game and Hendo was really good in his game [against Slovakia].
“OK, Milly was not too satisfied with his role but that’s how it is sometimes.
“He made no mistake in the tournament, so he can be confident and that’s how it is.
“But now international time is over and Liverpool time starts again.”
Aside from Clyne, who will likely slot back into his role as first-choice left-back on arrival, each of Klopp’s England internationals now face further competition for places at Liverpool.
The addition of Marko Grujic in midfield, along with the possible signing of Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle United, sees Henderson, Milner and Lallana all come under threat of dropping down the ranks.
Meanwhile, the return of Danny Ings from injury could see Sturridge face a fight for his starting berth, with the former Burnley striker scoring twice so far in pre-season.
In the Reds’ warmup clashes so far, Klopp has largely rotated his squad with a different lineup in each half.
This could continue against Chelsea (July 27), AC Milan (July 30) and AS Roma (August 1) in the US, as well as when taking on Barcelona (August 6) and Mainz (August 7) back in Europe.
Klopp will welcome all of his summer internationals back during Liverpool’s time across the Atlantic, with Simon Mignolet, Divock Origi, Christian Benteke, Emre Can and Joe Allen all due back.
Benteke and Allen may not stay long, however, with their futures under intense speculation throughout the summer.