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Pepijn Lijnders has already named young Liverpool duo set for pre-season chance

As Liverpool prepare for pre-season and Pepijn Lijnders runs the rule over the academy, two youngsters are already expected to get a first-team chance.

The Reds are due back for the first day of pre-season on Monday, July 4, but the under-21s and under-18s are already training at the AXA Training Centre.

It is an opportunity designed for Lijnders, assistant manager to Jurgen Klopp, and Liverpool’s elite development coach Vitor Matos to spot any young talents who could then switch to the senior group for the rest of the summer.

Last year, Kaide Gordon was the one who caught Lijnders’ eye, included as one of eight youngsters who travelled with the first team to their extended training camp in Austria.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 9, 2021: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Like Gordon, Owen Beck went on to make five appearances in pre-season, while Tyler Morton also featured heavily, Conor Bradley and Billy Koumetio were given a chance and Marcelo Pitaluga, Harvey Davies and Mateusz Musialowski all gained experience.

That translated to first-team outings in the campaign proper for Gordon, Beck, Morton, Bradley and Koumetio, with their development accelerated as a result of this valuable time over the summer.

Ahead of 2022/23, there are likely to be more youngsters involved in training and friendlies, with Lijnders already name-checking two back in January.

Stefan Bajcetic, the Spanish centre-back turned No. 6, and Bobby Clark, a new arrival last summer who shone as a regular in the under-18s attack, earned praise from the Dutchman.

Left-back Luke Chambers was also singled out, but given he is still away with England at the Under-19 Euros, it is now unlikely that he will be called up.

“I hope they come with us to pre-season,” Lijnders told reporters.

“Because that’s really important, that they first come to a proper pre-season, four, five weeks of training with us, to know exactly how we want to do things.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, November 6, 2020: Liverpool's Sepp Van Den Berg during the pre-match warm-up before the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between West Ham United FC Under-23's and Liverpool FC Under-23's at Rush Green. Liverpool won 4-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool are also expected to include young centre-back Sepp van den Berg in the first weeks of pre-season at least, as could be the case for the likes of James Balagizi, Layton Stewart, Melkamu Frauendorf, Oakley Cannonier and James Norris.

The challenge for these academy players will be to make their mark over the course of a month or so, as the Reds take in friendlies against Man United, Crystal Palace, RB Leipzig, Red Bull Salzburg, Man City and Strasbourg.

Where they go from there is largely up to the way in which they perform on the pitch and conduct themselves off it.

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