Liverpool have made three very late additions to their Club World Cup squad ahead of the semi-final with Monterrey.
The Reds had named their 23-man squad over the weekend but injuries have changed things. Dejan Lovren is out, for one, while Rhian Brewster will remain on Merseyside for treatment, per the Echo.
And so Sepp van den Berg, Ki-Jana Hoever and Harvey Elliott are all now in – despite not being in Qatar. The idea appears to be for the youngsters to fly out after the Aston Villa game for the last match in the Club World Cup. Be that the third-place play-off or the final.
What RTK has to say
It means that Liverpool will play the Club World Cup with a very young squad. Their defence, in particular, only has two players over the age of 22 – Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson.
Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are now senior defenders, with the rest of the options made up of teenagers Hoever, Van den Berg and Neco Williams.
Managing that may be Jurgen Klopp’s toughest task. He’d rather rest players in the semi-final, certainly, but two of his most inexperienced options won’t show up until the final.
Instead, Van Dijk and Gomez will likely have to play both games – there aren’t any other centre-back options.
As for Elliott, you’d be surprised if he got a game. He’d maybe play in the semi-final but he’ll instead play against Villa. He should get some good experience being around the first-team squad but that’s about it.
We always knew that this would be a tough run of games for Klopp to manage. Injuries have made that tougher, however, and it’ll be very interesting to see how he balances things.