“We are back!” – Arne Slot greets Fabio Carvalho as Liverpool’s pre-season begins

The first day of pre-season is here, and Kostas Tsimikas cut an excited figure as he declared “we are back” on return to the AXA Training Centre on Friday morning.

Forty-eight days after the curtains fell on the 2023/24 season, preparations for the next campaign are now underway as pre-season commenced for the first time under Arne Slot.

With international tournaments still ongoing and several players still on holiday, it was a small group that reported back – though still larger than the eight players confirmed by the club.

Tsimikas was one of the names listed for testing, and immediately after walking through the doors of the training base declared “we are back,” as he gave the cameras a peace sign.

Some things never change, eh!

The club documented the likes of Fabio Carvalho and Sepp van den Berg marking their return after a season on loan, both greeting Slot for the first time in the dining hall.

The future of the latter appears to be away from Anfield and he has a £20 million price tag on his head this summer, but he is needed early on in the absence of key centre-back names.

As for Carvalho, the expectation is for Slot and Co. to take a closer look before any decisions are made, making it a big summer ahead for the 21-year-old.

Slot, who had a photoshoot and a press conference in the morning, made his rounds to the players and those working in the kitchen on what was his first official day as the Reds’ new head coach.

Liverpool had confirmed that only Stefan Bajcetic, Conor Bradley, Jarell Quansah, Van den Berg, Owen Beck, Curtis Jones, Caoimhin Kelleher and Tsimikas were to report back on Friday in two groups of four.

However, footage and images from the first day show Harvey Elliott was also at the AXA, in addition to the likes of Nat Phillips, Kaide Gordon, James McConnell, Ben Doak, Tyler Morton and Harvey Davies.

After playing for their respective countries earlier in the summer, Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo will mark their return in the coming days.