Liverpool face Blackpool in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday. We have a look at three players who must impress.
Why ‘must’? Because for some, this is a final chance to impact their future ahead of the season. It’s perhaps a bit much to say a performance shapes their Anfield future but honestly, it’s not far off.
So here are our three.
Minamino stole the show against Arsenal in the Community Shield. And he didn’t even start the game.
But his impact off the bench turned Liverpool around. Before his arrival, the Reds just couldn’t get going. They played long, they were slow, and the Gunners looked better.
After, however, Liverpool clicked. Minamino was busy and creative – as demonstrated by his equalising goal. And that puts him in an interesting position.
If he catches the eye against Blackpool, Klopp may have to start him against Leeds United in the Premier League opener. That would be a major win for the Japanese international – proof that he finally fits in at Anfield.
And if his teammates don’t catch up to him quickly, Minamino could become a regular starter in no time at all.
We really thought Wilson was a goner. As it turns out, reports suggest he may hang around this season and finally get his chance.
The Liverpool Echo claims that the Reds want £20m for him but if no one offers it, Wilson will stay for the season. But he needs to perform when he gets the chance.
He’ll surely get one on Saturday, even with limited minutes. A decent showing – or proof that he fits in with the style and squad – would prevent Liverpool from lowering that price a tad.
Because if he looks a little lost out there, they may just do so.
The Mirror claims that Klopp wants a look at Grujic and might keep him around. He’s another, like Wilson, that we assumed would leave this summer. At least on loan.
Instead, he could take a place in the squad. We think that’s a strange stance – as we talked about here – but strange or not, it’s an opportunity Grujic can’t miss.
The Serbian recently called playing for Liverpool ‘his dream’ and if he wants to live it, he’s got to impress when he can. We can’t imagine he’ll get too many early Premier League games to do so and this friendly is surely his best chance.
So when Liverpool take on Blackpool, Grujic may be playing for his Anfield career. The pressure’s on, then.