Liverpool have sent five youngsters back to Merseyside as the first-team training camp in Evian continues this week, ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield tie.
The Reds take on Man City at Wembley this weekend, in the campaign’s competitive opener.
Though the importance of the game is questionable, with the Community Shield widely regarded as little more than a high-profile friendly, Jurgen Klopp and his side will be eager to lift the trophy.
Preparations improved on Wednesday night with a 3-1 win over Lyon in Geneva, midway through a week-long stay in Evian to close off the summer.
The Liverpool Echo report that “it was always the intention to trim [the] numbers,” and the Reds are now left with a 24-man squad ahead of the trip to north London.
Realistically none of that quintet will be considered to feature against City, and are more likely to play in the EFL Trophy opener against Oldham Athletic on August 7.
Liverpool’s Training Squad for Community Shield
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Mignolet, Ojrzynski, Lonergan
Defenders: Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson
Midfielders: Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Keita, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Forwards: Firmino, Salah, Origi, Shaqiri, Brewster, Wilson, Elliott
This would also indicate that, at this stage, Klopp does not see either Hoever, Larouci or Lewis as second choice at right- or left-back respectively.
Furthermore, the depth available to Klopp at centre-back allows him to provide Van den Berg and Hoever further time to develop out of the first team.
Duncan’s departure comes after a quiet but impressive pre-season which saw him play 129 minutes over five games, scoring once and assisting once, but his exit was always to be expected.
Interestingly, however, Harvey Elliott remains with the squad, after making two strong cameos against Napoli and Lyon so far.