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6 things spotted as new face joins Liverpool’s pre-Leeds training

Liverpool warmed up for the visit of Leeds in a windy training session at Kirkby on Monday, with a new face joining Jurgen Klopp‘s squad for a high-energy workout.

The Reds are on a roll, with eight consecutive wins in the bank and on an 11-game unbeaten run, with this week bringing the League Cup final.

Before then, though, is the rearranged Premier League clash with Leeds, who will arrive at Anfield having only won one of their last six games and losing three.

Given the early scare against Norwich at the weekend, Liverpool will be eager to produce an overall performance more like the second half in that 3-1 victory, and fortunately, Klopp still has a near fully fit squad to choose from.

As the winds continued on Merseyside on Monday, the manager and his staff put the players through their paces – and here are six things we spotted.

 

A new face

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 24, 2021: Liverpool's Dominic Corness celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Youth League Group B Matchday 4 game between Liverpool FC Under 19's and FC Porto Under 19's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The proximity to the academy facility at Kirkby allows Klopp to easily call upon youngsters to flesh out his squad, and that was the case on Monday.

A day after coming off the bench for his first appearance in two-and-a-half months in the under-23s’ last-gasp draw at home to Blackburn, 18-year-old midfielder Dominic Corness was seen with the first team.

Sidelined through injury since a 1-1 draw with AC Milan in the UEFA Youth League in December, the teenager known as ‘The Wand’ due to his incredible left foot took part in the pre-Leeds session.

Though it is unlikely to lead to any matchday exposure any time soon, it was a big gesture from the staff that he was the one called up.

 

Virg nutmegs Mo

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 14, 2021: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC Milan. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The high winds at the AXA Training Centre served as ripe conditions for a series of rondos, with Virgil van Dijk leading the count for his group.

With Mohamed Salah and Joe Gomez chasing, Van Dijk was joined by Joel Matip, Thiago, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Kostas Tsimikas in pulling off a 50-pass rondo.

A clear highlight was Van Dijk’s cheeky nutmeg on Salah – revenge is a dish best served cold…and windy!

 

The next Matip meme?

After slapping Jordan Henderson on the back of the head at the San Siro in midweek, reacting with a sheepish grin, Matip was hailed as “the world’s top meme generator.”

That tag, brought to light by James Milner, was given more fuel in the Monday session, as the centre-back took part in a spirited rondo.

Not to be outdone by Van Dijk’s nutmeg on Salah, Matip did the same to Tsimikas – and made sure the cameras knew about it.

“Yeehaw!” was his reaction, for reasons we’re not quite sure!

 

Welcome to England!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 15, 2022: Liverpool's Luis Díaz during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between FC Internazionale Milano and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Poor Luis Diaz.

The sight of Liverpool’s new No. 23 coming on for his debut against Cardiff, in shorts sleeves and gloves, saw him rubbing his hands together to cope with his new climate.

In the weeks since his £50 million switch from Porto, Diaz has been thrown in at the deep end in terms of the weather, with Storm Eunice providing a stark contrast to his more familiar surroundings of Colombia and Portugal.

“Nice summer weather,” remarked Van Dijk as he walked out alongside Salah and Diaz, who – true to character – still had a smile on his face throughout the session.

 

No issues for Jones

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 2, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) chats with Curtis Jones during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 4 game between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético de Madrid. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It has been a tough fortnight for Curtis Jones, who started in the 2-0 win over Leicester but has since been omitted from the last three matchday squads.

That included the extended group for the Champions League, with the midfielder the only outfield player who travelled that wasn’t at least on the bench.

But there are no fitness problems for the youngster, and Jones is still training with the group and, on his Instagram story, vowed to “stay working.”

 

Ibou the striker?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, September 27, 2021: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Who knew Ibrahima Konate had the chops?

As Liverpool moved on from warmups and rondos to finishing drills and small-sided games, the centre-back showed off his skills as a forward.

Harvey Davies stood no chance as he barrelled through from defence to attack, turning Fabinho and firing into the back of the net.

With Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino out injured, perhaps Ibou fancies a stint up top?

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