SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND - Monday, August 23, 2021: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon during the pre-match warm-up before the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Everton FC Under-23's and Liverpool FC Under-23's, the Mini-Merseyside Derby, at Haig Avenue. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Kaide Gordon already back at Kirkby ahead of big pre-season with Liverpool

After an injury-hit campaign with Liverpool, Kaide Gordon is stepping up his fitness training at Kirkby ahead of a big pre-season back with the first team.

Pre-season is an opportunity for youngsters and fringe players to earn their chances for the campaign ahead, and Gordon certainly did that this time last year.

“Before pre-season we always make sure our biggest talents start a week earlier than we start, so they start with the U23s training,” assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders explained in September.

“I went to the U23s training and I see one player, and he has fire in each moment he touched the ball and he always passes players like they’re not standing there.

“So I called Jurgen immediately and [said]: ‘Wow, we have a new player here!’.”

The teenager, signed from Derby in a £2 million deal months before, went on to make five appearances during pre-season, including a start against Osasuna at Anfield.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 23, 2022: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon celebrates after scoring the second goal in injury time during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That led to four outings for the senior side during the campaign proper, while Gordon also turned out as a regular for the under-23s and under-19s at academy level.

But the second half of the season – which did, admittedly, include a record-breaking goal against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup – was plagued by injuries and a spell out with COVID-19.

Gordon’s last game for Liverpool was a 3-0 loss to Leeds under-23s on February 7, a day after he watched the first team’s 3-1 FA Cup win over Cardiff from the bench.

Since then, the 17-year-old has barely been spotted in training, with the club clearly taking a cautious approach after a busy start to life at the top level.

He was part of the victory parade in Liverpool after the Champions League final, though, before departing on a post-season holiday along with team-mate James Balagizi and Man United youngster Shola Shoretire.

INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA - Thursday, July 29, 2021: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Hertha BSC at the Tivoli Stadion. Liverpool lost 4-3. (Pic by Jürgen Faichter/Propaganda)

Now, Gordon is already back at the AXA Training Centre in Kirkby, working on his fitness ahead of an expected linkup with the senior squad for pre-season.

Pre-season training begins on July 4, with there a possibility Gordon joins the under-23s a week before that, allowing Lijnders and elite development coach Vitor Matos to run the rule over his progress.

Liverpool will then head to the Far East for their money-spinning tour on July 9, with clashes with Man United and Crystal Palace to be followed by a training camp in Austria.

With Divock Origi leaving on a free transfer, Sadio Mane pushing for the exit and question marks over Takumi Minamino‘s future, there could be plenty of chances for Gordon in pre-season.