LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 25, 2023: Liverpool's substitutes (L-R) Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' before the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Why Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott will be last back for Liverpool pre-season

Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott are set be the final two players to report back for pre-season duties ahead of the new season.

Liverpool’s first official day back after the summer break is set for July 8, but players will be returning sporadically beyond that date due to various commitments elsewhere.

International players will begin to come back to the AXA Training Centre from July 11, but the return dates for each individual will depend on their summer exploits on various stages.

The Reds’ pre-season schedule includes trips to Germany and Singapore as Jurgen Klopp prepares his side to come back fit and firing after a lacklustre 2022/23 campaign on all fronts.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He will be hoping to have as many of his players ready to go on day one of pre-season, but Jones and Elliott are expected to be the last to come back to camp.

The reason for this is that both have been selected in England’s squad for the European Under-21 Championship, which gets underway on Wednesday evening.

England’s progress in the competition is likely to impact the return dates of both Jones and Elliott, with the knockout stages not beginning until July 1 and the final set for July 8.

Klopp confirmed in April that he intends to give each of his players a minimum of three weeks off before returning to training with the squad, due to the demands of the World Cup-impacted season just gone.

It is not completely clear at this stage whether or not that will be extended to Jones and Elliott, but the two are almost certain to be the last players to join up with the Liverpool squad barring a group-stage elimination for England.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 17, 2023: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round Replay match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Returning loanee Sepp Van den Berg will also be representing his country at the tournament, but the Dutch defender is expected to be loaned out for a third successive season and is unlikely to partake in any 2023/24 preparations with the Reds.

A number of Liverpool’s reported transfer targets will be in action for their nation’s respective under-21 sides over the summer, with Khephren Thuram, Manu Kone, Gabri Veiga, Ryan Gravenberch and Romeo Lavia all set to be involved.

It means, in theory, they could follow Jones and Elliott back to pre-season training with Liverpool should any of them make a move in the coming weeks.

The scale of the competition does however make imminent transfers for any of those players more difficult and would more likely be finalised upon the competition’s conclusion.