Liverpool are preparing for the first pre-season fixture of their summer tour of Austria ahead of the Reds’ clash with Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart this evening (17:00 GMT).
Jurgen Klopp is expected to give players as much game time as possible with the clock ticking on impressing the manager considering Liverpool’s first competitive match of the 2020/21 campaign is a week away.
The Reds have been on tour in Salzburg for a week now as their inaugural pre-season fixture of the trip ensures preparations are about to step up a level.
Here we have listed three Liverpool players who will be more eager than most to impress against the newly-promoted Bundesliga club.
Marko Grujic will be desperate to make an impact following his two-year loan spell with Hertha Berlin in the German top-flight.
The versatile midfielder’s Liverpool future remains up in the air following numerous reports linking Grujic with a permanent transfer away from Anfield.
According to The Mirror, the Reds could be looking to offload Grujic to raise funds this summer meaning time is limited for the Serbian international to stake a case regarding his Liverpool prospects.
Goal even claimed that Grujic was ‘in talks’ with both Crystal Palace and Aston Villa though a return Hertha Berlin remains the most likely option for Grujic.
He certainly impressed during that time in Germany. Grujic even had his manager saying he was the club’s best midfielder for 20 years.
Despite the interest from outside Anfield, Grujic still has hopes of remaining on Merseyside after claiming it was still ‘a dream‘ to remains part of Klopp’s plans for the 2020/21 season.
Getting the ball rolling with a strong performance against Stuttgart certainly wouldn’t harm his chances of convincing the manager he could have a role to play next season.
And, according to journalist Neil Jones, Grujic is ‘likely to feature’.
Grujic has three years remaining on his current Liverpool deal so unless the club’s valuation of £20 million is met, we may look to keep the 24-year-old a while longer.
Following a two-year sabbatical in Turkey with Besiktas, it is a fascinating sight to see Karius kitted up in Liverpool colours once again.
The German goalkeeper is still looking to shake off what can only be described as a nightmare performance that proved detrimental in Liverpool’s 2018 Champions League final hopes.
It is likely that Karius will be moved on following reports from James Pearce who concluded that Liverpool will look to sell the 27-year-old this summer.
Speaking on The Red Agenda podcast, Pearce said: “Karius will [leave]. I think Liverpool are very keen to find a new home for him. There’s no way back at Liverpool for him that I can see.”
Karius also remains hopeful that a future at the Anfield helm is far from an impossibility.
Liverpool await a tough decision on the future of Rhian Brewster and it’s one that could shape their season amid reports linking the striker with a move away from Anfield.
The BBC recently claimed at least six Premier League clubs are interest in taking Brewster on loan for next season. Aston Villa, Brighton, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Fulham and Newcastle United were all named but there were suggestions that plenty more would be interested in the prospect of adding Brewster to their squad.
It is no surprise that interest is high considering Brewster’s lasting impression in the Championship last season.
During a loan spell with Swansea City, Brewster netted 11 goals to help the team finish in the play-offs.
It proved he thrive in the professional game and more importantly showcased Brewster has matured following a sustained run in the Swansea first-team.
Brewster has made it clear he wants to be a part of Klopp’s plans next season yet whether or not he is ready to make the step-up at Liverpool remains to be seen.
Liverpool’s attacking options from the bench were limited last season with Divock Origi currently the club’s primary backup for the usual front-three yet the Belgium international scored just four Premier League goals last season.
Brewster represents another viable goalscoring option for Liverpool making the prospect of loaning him out again less appealing.
If Origi stalls next season or even sustains an injury, Liverpool will have next to no cover for the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino and then suddenly things become difficult.
Getting off the mark in pre-season could convince Klopp to seriously consider Brewster that he has what it takes to make it in a squad that is littered with serial winners.
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