Promising young winger Sheyi Ojo is set to miss a large portion of Liverpool’s pre-season schedule on duty with the England U19s.
Ojo was called up to Aidy Boothroyd’s squad for the European U19 Championship in Germany throughout July.
England are among eight teams to take part in the group stage, alongside Austria, Croatia, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the host nation.
The Young Lions have been drawn in Group B, with France, Croatia and the Netherlands.
England’s last group game is on July 18, meaning Ojo miss Liverpool’s first four pre-season outings against Tranmere Rovers on July 8, Fleetwood Town on July 13, Wigan Athletic on July 17 and almost certainly Huddersfield Town on July 20.
Furthermore, if England then reach the final at the Arena Sinsheim on July 24, and Ojo is granted time off after the tournament, the 19-year-old would miss some of Liverpool’s tour of the US.
Klopp’s side take on Chelsea (July 27), AC Milan (July 30) and AS Roma (August 1) on their jaunt, before returning to take on Barcelona at Wembley Stadium on August 6.
While competition for a starting role in Klopp’s attack is expected to be fierce this summer, ahead of a crucial 2016/17, Ojo will be hoping to earn a regular role under the German.
The £30 million signing of Sadio Mane, along with the return of Lazar Markovic from a season-long loan spell with Fenerbahce, adds to Klopp’s regular group of wingers in Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, James Milner and Jordon Ibe.
Ojo moved ahead of Ibe in Klopp’s thinking through his strong performances in the second half of 2015/16, and showcased the potential to develop into a top-level attacker on Merseyside.
Though, as with the dormant Emre Can with Germany at this summer’s European Championship in France, Ojo will be gaining significant experience away with the England U19s, his unavailability for at least four of Liverpool’s pre-season fixtures is a blow.
Perhaps most importantly, the former MK Dons talent will return behind on fitness compared to his team-mates, who begin a rigorous schedule on Saturday.
Klopp and new fitness coach Andreas Kornmayer will put their charges through their paces with triple sessions, starting at 7am each day.
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