Klopp’s squad raring to go as Konate savours first session in “red of Liverpool”

There were plenty of smiles but also tired faces as Liverpool got straight to work for pre-season, where the hard work is only just beginning.

With international football behind us, all focus is back on the Reds after returning to training on Monday in the picturesque Austrian town of Saalfelden.

Jurgen Klopp, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Kostas Tsimikas were the first group to arrive on Sunday before the rest filtered in throughout Monday.

Day one, of course, required the dreaded lactate test to be taken but for fans, it provided the first glimpse of the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate on the training pitch.

There’s a lot of work to be done before the season kicks off in Norwich in less than 32 days’ time, but excitement is in the air as a clean slate is before Liverpool after what was a rollercoaster of a season.

“Obviously, it’s nice to have a break after an intense season but it doesn’t take long before you start missing it again,” Nat Phillips said upon his return.

“I’m really excited to get training and [have] a bit of competition with the lads, and obviously just get the feel of the ball again.”

It’s a feeling shared by Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones, with the former having returned to fitness after a setback late last season:

Loris Karius and Marko Grujic have returned from respective loan spells, to which Pepijn Lijnders feels their “experiences for sure will make us stronger during this pre-season.”

And while the duo’s futures are uncertain, they were back in red for “pre-season day 1”:

But the day also marked Konate’s first session “in the red of Liverpool,” a day where he met with Klopp, his teammates and hit the running track:

It was sweaty work under the Austrian sun for youngsters Jake Cain and Harvey Davies, the latter of whom just signed his first professional contract with the club:

Centre-back pairing Rhys Williams and Ben Davies were also happy to be back and no doubt relieved to get the first fitness test swiftly out of the way:

And James Milner was delighted to “be back with the boys” and starting to lay the foundations for another season, which will, hopefully, return silverware:

Ball work will soon be back on the Reds’ agenda before their first pre-season contest, which will take in two 30-minute mini-games on July 20 against FC Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart.