SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND - Monday, August 23, 2021: Liverpool's Rhys Williams 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)

Liverpool duo training together in Marbella to kickstart pre-season early

Rhys Williams and Leighton Clarkson are looking to gain an early advantage over two weeks before Liverpool’s pre-season starts, training together in Marbella.

With Darwin Nunez, Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay all now through the door, it is widely expected that no more signings will be made at Anfield this summer.

There is, however, a group of players whose futures remain in question and are likely to be resolved in the coming months.

At least on a short-term basis, two of those players are Williams and Clarkson, who ended last season as part of the Liverpool under-23s squad following unsuccessful loan spells.

They both departed Merseyside last summer, only to return midway through the campaign having made just seven appearances for Swansea and Blackburn respectively.

LEYLAND, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 4, 2022: Liverpool lift the trophy after winning 1-0 in the Lancashire Senior Cup Final match between Burnley FC Under-23's and Liverpool FC Under-23's at the County Ground. (Pic by Sam Fielding/Propaganda)

To their credit, the academy graduates put the disappointment behind them to end the season strongly, including triumph over Burnley in the final of the Lancashire Senior Cup.

Liverpool are likely to consider loan offers for both Williams and Clarkson this summer, but they could also be given a chance to impress Jurgen Klopp in the early weeks of pre-season training.

It is heartening, then, that they have already been working on their fitness together during a post-season holiday in Marbella.

In a post from Williams on Instagram, the 21-year-old centre-back shared a series of photos of him alongside Clarkson:

Every player from the Liverpool squad will have been given individual training programmes to maintain their fitness over the off-season, but it is clear that Williams and Clarkson are eager to impress.

Whether that results in a role in Klopp’s first-team squad remains to be seen, particularly given the competition in both defence and midfield.

Williams ended the season as de facto fifth choice at centre-back, but is behind Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez, with Nat Phillips, Sepp van den Berg and Ben Davies all, as it stands, to return from loan.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, February 7, 2022: Liverpool's Leighton Clarkson during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Leeds FC Under-23's and Liverpool FC Under-23's at Elland Road. Leeds United won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Meanwhile, there is a sense that Tyler Morton could be given more chances in the middle of the park next term, while Carvalho also joins a group comprised of Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Fabinho, Naby Keita, James Milner, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

That could, in all likelihood, restrict the opportunities given to Clarkson – who Klopp has previously compared to German legend Philipp Lahm.

Nevertheless, Williams and Clarkson can only aim to outperform their team-mates both on and off the pitch if they are to convince Klopp in the summer ahead.