Liverpool to be among the last Premier League clubs to return for pre-season

Liverpool will return to pre-season in a week’s time on July 12, which is in line with the rest of the Premier League‘s top five from last term – but later than the other 14 clubs.

The Reds will report back to Kirkby next week, with Jurgen Klopp expected to welcome 27 players for initial tests and exercises.

New signing Ibrahima Konate will be part of the group, while there are hopes all four of Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip will be passed fit to train as normal.

Among the others to take part from July 12 are Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner, with those at the Euros and Copa America to rejoin the squad at a later date.

Liverpool are yet to confirm their schedule of warmup friendlies, but the announcement is likely imminent as the UK government is slated to announce a July 19 end-of-lockdown date on Monday.

It is a later-than-usual return date for the Reds, with Klopp mindful of the physical and mental toll of the last two seasons as he hands his players an extra week off.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 23, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the pre-match warm-up before the final FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But the majority of the Premier League hasn’t followed suit, with 14 other clubs having already returned for pre-season or doing so in the coming days.

The only clubs not back by Thursday – when Burnley will resume training – are Liverpool, Man City, Man United, Chelsea and Leicester.

Interestingly, those are the five sides to finish highest in last season’s Premier League, and five of the six sides guaranteed European football in 2021/22.

West Ham also qualified for the Europa League, but David Moyes has already begun pre-season with his squad, who were back at Rush Green from July 1.

The only clubs whose plans are as yet unknown are Man United and Man City, though United’s first friendly of the summer is scheduled for July 18, suggesting they will be back either in line with Liverpool or even earlier.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 24, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A full list of return dates, courtesy of The Athletic, can be found below:

Arsenal – July 7
Aston Villa – July 5
Brentford – July 5
Burnley – July 8
Chelsea – Second week of July
Crystal Palace – July 5
Everton – July 5
Leeds – July 1
Leicester – Second week of July
Liverpool – July 12
Man City – TBC
Man United – TBC; likely second week of July
Newcastle – July 5
Norwich – July 5
Southampton – July 5
Tottenham – July 5
Watford – June 27
West Ham – July 1
Wolves – July 5

As it stands, Liverpool are one of only three clubs to not confirm any pre-season friendlies, though even Brighton and Man City have dates pencilled in.

The Seagulls are due to play Rangers on July 24, while City contest the Community Shield with Leicester on August 7.