Jurgen Klopp has described Liverpool’s final pre-season friendly against Torino at Anfield as an opportunity to “give back” to local supporters after their US tour.
Coming at the end of a busy nine-game run, this should serve as the culmination of Klopp’s work over the summer, with the manager building a base for the season ahead.
But with most of Liverpool’s high-profile friendlies coming abroad, with three in the United States and one in Dublin, they could be seen as overlooking the community.
Speaking to The Anfield Wrap after Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, however, he explained that though his squad may be able to socialise more on tour the clash with Torino is designed to “give back” to local supporters:
“I heard the people in Liverpool are not 100 percent happy about that, because obviously we don’t do things like that in Liverpool.
“The problem is that yesterday there were only 1,000, 2,000 people, and it’s already difficult security-wise. If they go nuts we have a problem.
“What we try to do with the last game of pre-season, like a season opener, we want to give back to the people of Liverpool.
“We know it’s difficult, but we don’t want to give people the feeling that in the USA and Asia we are really close to people.
“We aren’t closer there, we just live in a hotel and not at home, so we come from the hotel and people are there. That’s a big difference.
“What we try with the game against Torino is to do something different to last year, to open it really for the Liverpool supporters from Liverpool, or the cities around.
“Hopefully they take that, because I don’t think people fly in from all over the world to Liverpool to see that game.”
Liverpool have not been able to arrange a pre-season friendly at Anfield since Dortmund’s visit during Klopp’s reign in 2014, due to ongoing development work at the stadium.
But this summer, according to the manager, marks the beginning of a customary tie held on Merseyside, and coming at the end of pre-season it should showcase the best of the Reds’ squad.
“We want to involve that in the next few years, that we have a season opener [at Anfield]. But for that we have to have the players around!” he explained.
“If we did that as a season opener on the first day of pre-season we come in and the people maybe only know four players.
“That doesn’t make too much sense. But we know about the problem and we will work on that.”
And the visit of Torino will see this continue, as Klopp prepares to fight on four fronts again in 2018/19.