KIDDERMINSTER, ENGLAND - Friday, July 22, 2022: Liverpool's Jack Cain (L) leads his side out before a pre-season Under-21's friendly between Kidderminster Harriers FC and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Aggborough Stadium. (Pic by Peter Hinkley/Propaganda)

“I did what was asked” – 20-year-old left “disappointed” after pre-season omission

Jurgen Klopp turned to 12 academy players throughout pre-season but Jake Cain was not one of them, despite having done “what was asked of me” during his loan spell last season.

Pre-season is an opportunity for those in the academy to make an impression on the first team players and staff, showing what they can do in a senior environment.

Cain thought he may be one of those to be handed the chance but the call that was made to the likes of Stefan Bajcetic, Isaac Mabaya, Bobby Clark and Melkamu Frauendorf never came the 20-year-old’s way.

Instead, off the back of his 28-game season on loan with League Two’s Newport County, it was the under-21s and Merseyside that beckoned.

“I can’t lie, I was disappointed,” Cain told Goal.

“I thought I had a good loan, I did what was asked of me, and I thought I could come back and show the first team what I can do.

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Monday, July 11, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) and Leighton Clarkson during a training session at the Rajamangala National Stadium on day two of the club's Asia Tour ahead of a friendly match against Manchester United FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“They’re the best team in Europe, so I know it’s going to be very difficult to push for a place in the team, but I thought I might have been able to go on the tour, show what I can do and see what the first-team coaches said.

“So, yeah, it was disappointing.”

Cain has already made his senior debut for Liverpool and has been on the bench a further 11 times, but his ambitions are clear and that means another loan is firmly in his plans.

Liverpool have received contact over a potential move this season and it ought to be only a matter of time before a move is agreed.

A loan switch will be music to Cain’s ears after ‘leaving as a boy and coming back as a man’ from Newport, with U21s football no longer cutting it.

“I’m ready for another challenge,” Cain explained. “I need to go on loan again, I need men’s football, and I feel now that I’ll be ready to hit the ground running when the opportunity comes. I know that I’m ready.

SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND - Monday, August 23, 2021: Liverpool's Jake Cain during 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)

“I left a boy and came back a man [from Newport]. I found it difficult, at first, because it’s so different to U23s football. You have to win, every point matters, and you have to learn that mentality very quickly.

“By the end, I think I was one of the best midfielders in the league. I felt comfortable playing against anyone.”