Jurgen Klopp has welcomed the addition of four “new players” on the first day of pre-season, but a big ‘if’ surrounds their ability to stay fit.
The Reds made their return to training on Saturday morning for the first time since lifting Ol’ Big Ears ahead of two domestic friendlies next week.
And while there was only one new face at Melwood in the form of young defender Sepp van den Berg, Klopp has identified four “new players” who could have a big role to play in 2019/20.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rhian Brewster, Joe Gomez and Adam Lallana all experienced their respective injury woes last season, but with each set to take a full part in pre-season they are all in the manager’s plans.
That is if they stay fit, however.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, Klopp claimed that each of the four players represent an injection of “quality” into his side – but only if they “stay fit”:
“If Ox can stay fit – new player for us.
“Rhian the same; he is a really big talent. We’re really looking forward to seeing him in training and all that stuff. It will be an important role for us, we planned an important role for him. So, new player.
“Like Joe Gomez is pretty much a new player. Adam Lallana, new player. After a lot of problems last year, if these boys can really stay fit then that’s completely different to last year for the team because there is real quality. That’s cool.
“Hopefully we can use the time to give them the time because it’s a while ago they had competitive games. We start pretty intensely with Tranmere, getting promoted.”
Liverpool closed the curtains on last season with the club’s sixth European Cup, which in turn secured the first piece of silverware under Klopp’s tutelage, ensuring the summer break was one which was thoroughly enjoyed.
But Klopp has already squashed any future suggestions that his team will sit on their success as the euphoria of the victory is something his Liverpool team “can get addicted to”:
“It went better than I expected to be honest. It was long ago since I won something so I didn’t know exactly anymore how it feels, but it was good!
“Of course we move on, but why should we forget it. It’s something that should give the boys more confidence, that’s important, but nobody should worry about this team.
“It’s not about being finally satisfied, happy or done with the career because we won the Champions League, there is so much to go for.
“We’ve smelt now how it feels. We played the final, we won the final, we came to the city, we saw the people and that is something you can get addicted to so you want to have it more often.”
The Reds have will make the short trip to face Tranmere Rovers on Thursday before a meeting with Bradford City ahead of their three-stop tour of the United States.