KAA Gent's new player Anderson Arroyo Cordoba pictured in action during a training session of Belgian soccer team KAA Gent, during the 2018-2019 Jupiler Pro League season, Friday 07 September 2018, in Gent. BELGA PHOTO JASPER JACOBS

The unfamiliar face who will be in Liverpool’s first-team squad for pre-season

Sixteen players will report back for pre-season training at Melwood on Saturday, and while most are familiar faces among fans, Anderson Arroyo stands out.

The Reds are back in training this weekend as they begin preparations for the 2019/20 campaign, in which they will compete on seven fronts.

While the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup are one-off fixtures, and expected involvement in the Club World Cup would consist of just two games, Jurgen Klopp will be tasked with regular action both domestically and in Europe.

Defending the European Cup will be a priority, along with challenging Man City for the Premier League title, while there are likely to be opportunities for fringe players in the FA Cup and League Cup.

Some of those set to be involved in those cup competitions were named in Klopp’s initial 16-man squad in training on Saturday.

But while the likes of Ki-Jana Hoever, Sepp van den Berg, Curtis Jones and Rhian Brewster are names supporters have become accustomed to, little is mentioned of Arroyo.

That is largely due to his unavailability since arriving at the club at the start of 2018, and another summer of uncertainty awaits the teenager.

A 19-year-old full-back capable of playing on either flank, Arroyo joined Liverpool from Fortaleza C.E.I.F. in February of last year, having made his debut at 15 in 2015, going on to make 23 appearances for the Colombian side.

During that period he spent time on trial at the Reds’ academy, and sufficiently impressed enough to earn a permanent deal, but immediately joined Spanish side Real Mallorca on loan.

There he turned out for their B side, before the 18-month agreement was cut short last summer so he could move to KAA Gent in Belgium.

The hope may have been that he took up a role in the first team, in order to gain the experience required to qualify for a UK work permit, but instead Arroyo was part of their academy.

He is considered a bright young talent, and was part of the Colombia squad which reached the quarter-finals of this summer’s Under-20 World Cup.

Arroyo started all five games in Poland, with his tournament ending with a 1-0 defeat to Ukraine, after which he embarked on a short break.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 28, 2019: Liverpool's club crest on the wall at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Now, he will join the likes of Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner at Melwood for the first time, as Klopp puts a mixed squad through their paces—beginning with a lactate test in the Merseyside heat.

But he is not set to stay in Liverpool for long, as Arroyo is unlikely to secure a work permit this summer and will, therefore, head out on loan again.

He is attracting interest from Strasbourg, Nurnberg and Bochum, and another temporary exit is likely to be finalised in the coming weeks.

The absence of another player in Arroyo’s situation, Taiwo Awoniyi, suggests the Nigerian striker is closer to the exit however.