Roberto Firmino has not been named as one of Brazil’s permitted overage players for the Olympics. This is great news for Liverpool as he’ll be available for pre-season and the start of the 2016/17 campaign.
Liverpool’s £29.5 million man was eligible to feature at the Olympics for Brazil as one of the squad’s 3 overage players. However, Firmino hasn’t been chosen as one of the 5 overage players who have been selected provisionally to represent Brazil.
Philippe Coutinho, arguably Liverpool’s best player, hasn’t been selected for the side either. Brazil have named Thiago Silva, Neymar, Willian, Douglas Costa and Fernando Prass as the options to appear in August.
The tournament starts on the 3rd of August and concludes on the 20th. This means that, with the Premier League season beginning on the 13th, that Coutinho and Firmino would’ve missed the first two games against Arsenal and Burnley.
Their availability will be a big boost to Jürgen Klopp ahead of a tremendously important season for the Reds. The 2016/17 offers an opportunity to qualify for the Champions League and build on two cup final disappointments. Klopp will certainly be looking to go one better and win his first silverware in England.
One Liverpool player who may still miss the first few games is new signing, Loris Karius. He has been named provisionally as a representative and could face Mexico, South Korea and Fiji.
Should Karius miss the opening games of the season, it could be a chance for Simon Mignolet to stake an early claim to be a starter for Liverpool next season. Last season, Liverpool’s Belgian number 22 was inconsistent and lost his team many points with his lack of focus and his tendency to switch off.
It would be in the club’s best interest if Karius wasn’t selected as it would provide more options for Klopp and stimulate the sense of competition within the training camp. Alternatively, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho’s Olympic representation, or lack thereof, will mean that next season kicks off with a bang.