Pre-season: Ones to watch

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Article by Jack Gill 

As always in football, the players don’t get much breaks and they’re already preparing to get back to Melwood for preseason training ahead of games against Tranmere and Bradford before going to the States. Ahead of these preseason friendlies I thought I’d take some time out of my Tuesday morning in the office to write about players that I’m particularly excited to see during these preseason friendlies.

Rhian Brewster

 

The person I’m most keen to watch not just during preseason but throughout the whole season is young Rhian Brewster. Last summer, we had to fend off strong interest from Borussia Monchengladbach for the youngster but we managed to keep hold of him and he signed a new deal with the club. With a first team contract came first team opportunities for Brewster who despite not making his debut for the club yet has a Champions League medal and has been heavily involved in LFC’s kit launch and Champions League winning videos since returning from injury.

Brewster had a difficult season last year having spent almost a year out with a long-term injury Brewster returned to full fitness and played a couple of games for the Under 23’s whilst being involved with the Liverpool fist team squad. Daniel Sturridge has of course left the club on a Bosman and it is likely Klopp will give Brewster the chance to fill the void left by Daniel Sturridge next season. The 19 year-old looks boss at Youth level but with Firmino and Salah out at international tournaments and likely to miss a lot of preseason, Brewster will most certainly get his chance to shine. We’ve seen Trent thrown in at the deep-end, excel and not look back since and I believe Brewster is capable of doing a similar thing when he gets his chance.

Harry Wilson

Another player I’m intrigued to watch during preseason is Harry Wilson. Since going to hull on loan during the 17/18 season, Harry Wilson has become a bit of a star in the Championship. Wilson scored 7 goals in 13 appearances at Hull in 2017/18 and impressed again last season while out on loan at Derby. Getting into this current Liverpool squad which is undeniably one of the best, if not THE best LFC squad so far of my 20-year lifetime is extremely difficult and Harry Wilson will be hoping to make an impression for the Reds during preseason.

My worry about Wilson is his all round game and the fact he may be more of a highlight reel player, the type capable of masking poor performances by scoring a banger every now and again. If that is the case his career at Liverpool won’t last much longer as Klopp requires players that work extremely hard. In my opinion, Klopp can get the best out of Harry Wilson and it’ll be good to give the Welshman game time during preseason and see how he copes. If Wilson has an amazing preseason I expect Klopp to keep him and use him as part of Liverpool’s squad this season however I think if an offer of £20-25 million comes in from another Premier League club, it will be extremely difficult to turn down

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

I am absolutely buzzing to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain playing for Liverpool again. When you think about the one small thing we were missing last season, it was an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain like number 8 who is capable of creating moments of magic like he did in the 2017/18 Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City.

He played a few minutes at the end of last season but Ox was clearly not fully fit and made jokes about him fatiguing during the new home kit launch video.  I think Oxlade-Chamberlain is going to be a very important player in our squad next season and I’m looking forward to see him back at his best, which will of course take time. Our new number 15 of course, as well!

Sepp Van Den Berg

Our first signing of the Summer transfer window. I’m unsure if we will see much of Sepp Van Den Berg during preseason but he’s bound to be good because he is Dutch and has ‘Van’ in his name. I’ve never seen the kid kick a ball before in my life but I’ve heard good things and think he will most likely partner Hoever in the youth team this season. The signing makes me wonder if VVD may have had any say on the matter, could be a guy that he’s heard good things about in Holland?  Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing him play as I believe he has a good future ahead of him at Liverpool. Check out our reaction to the signing here – https://youtu.be/KTUm31qalPE 

Adam Lewis

Adam Lewis will get his chance to shine in pre-season as he looks to fill the boots left by Alberto Moreno who along with Sturridge, left the club on a free transfer. There’s talk that Klopp has a lot of faith in Lewis who’s playing style is thought to be similar to that of Robertson and Trent and the young left-back will be looking to impress Klopp during preseason and show that he is good enough to be our back-up left back for the new season. Personally, I think that is why we are holding back on transfer as Klopp wants to give the young lads a chance first to try and prove themselves.



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Ben Woodburn

Ben Woodburn became Liverpool’s youngest ever goal scorer when he scored against Leeds in the EFL Cup 2016 and many people were excited by the Welshman but he has very much gone under the radar since and endured a difficult loan move to Sheffield United at the start of last season. I hope Woodburn impresses during preseason and gets a loan move to a Championship club who are going to play him week in and week out, giving him regular football cause it what he needs.

Curtis Jones

Curtis Jones is another player that is likely to go on the tour to the US and is heavily involved with the first team squad at LFC. Jones excites me. A versatile, young attacking player full of swagger and class in need of regular game time and will get an opportunity to once again showcase his talents during preseason. Did well on his debut against Wolves in the FA Cup in January but after preseason, we may see Jones head out on loan to a Championship club seeking a season of regular game time.

 

Caoimhin Kelleher

With Alisson Becker being away with Brazil at Copa America and Simon Mignolet seeking a move away, we will see a lot of Caoimhin Kelleher. Whilst I don’t think Kelleher will be back-up to Alisson Becker next season, it’s good to have the young Irishman training with the first team as third choice goalkeeper, where he will be improving and learning a lot from Alisson. One thing is for sure, I’m not looking forward to pronouncing that first name on podcasts throughout next season…

Ryan Kent

It is worth mentioning Ryan Kent too, though I think it is most likely he will be a Rangers player very soon, however if he doesn’t join Gerrard’s Gers on a permanent basis, his pace always makes him look a very good player in preseason and he causes defenders lots of problems. It will be good to see him back in a Liverpool shirt after a good loan spell in Scotland last season, playing 27 games and scoring six goals.

Ki Jana Hoever

This youngster excites me massively and I can see a great future ahead of him. His style of play reminds me of a mixture of Matip and VVD as he is a colossus that loves to run with the ball and carry it forwards. He looked very good when he came on against Wolves but aged just 17, obviously has a lot to learn. Was thrown in at the deep end against Wolves in the FA Cup and excelled. I’m eager to see him playing and am loving the though of possibly seeing him alongside VVD in a friendly perhaps?

I miss the Reds, I miss football, I’m looking forward to preseason, as I do every year to see some of the youngsters get an opportunity to shine when the spotlight is on them as well as watching our first team players get back to full fitness and prepare for winning the Octuple next season.

Up the Reds!

Article by Jack Gill 

Let us know who you are looking forward to seeing during the pre-season in the comments below!

 

 


 

 

 

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