Jurgen Klopp will get his best chance to study his untested trio when Liverpool host Leeds United in the Premier League opener on Saturday.
There are three players who really stand out in the Liverpool squad – Harry Wilson, Marko Grujic and Rhian Brewster. Now, that’s not based on their skill but because we didn’t expect them to still be here.
None of the trio ended the season with Liverpool last year, after all. Wilson spent the entire campaign with Bournemouth, Grujic had a second season at Hertha BSC and Brewster joined Swansea City for the second half of the season.
Out of the three, only Brewster looked set for a role. He proved he can score goals and Liverpool lack that – we think he’d be a fine option off the bench.
The other two are good player, certainly, but both play in crowded positions. Liverpool have simply got more central midfielders than they need already, while Wilson would have to compete with Mohamed Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri and Harvey Elliott for a spot on the right.
Thus we expected at least Wilson and Grujic to leave this summer. Brewster, too, is an obvious candidate for a Premier League loan after his 11 goals for Swansea in 22 games.
And yet all three may stay.
The Mirror recently reported that Grujic may stay. The Serbian is a candidate for midfield, it seems – a stance we find strange. Still, if Klopp wants him at the club, it makes sense to keep him. But there is room for any £20m offers should someone make one.
The Liverpool Echo say similar about Wilson. Klopp wants to look at him more and may yet find a role for him. If someone pays £20m, then he’s off, but otherwise Liverpool will keep him around.
Then there’s Brewster. Sky Sports recently said that Liverpool could sell him outright but there’s no decision just yet. Again, they’d want a sizeable fee and again it would be around £20m.
But one thing is clear – Klopp wants to assess his options. It would be simple enough to sell all three after their performances last season and it’s telling that they’re still about.
The boss wants a look at them, then, before deciding what to do. And the game against Leeds United on Saturday is the best opportunity to see them in action.
The fixture list hasn’t been kind for the opening month. Liverpool face Leeds in the opener – a tough task against an intense side and one that creates problems for Klopp.
Then come games against two of the league’s biggest – Chelsea and Arsenal. After that, Aston Villa away. That comes just three days before the transfer window shuts. There is a League Cup game before Villa but a game at that tempo against what is likely a weakened side won’t exactly give the boss the best idea of the players.
So if Klopp wants to have a look at the £60m trio, Leeds at home represents the best chance to do so.
It’s a game at Anfield, for one, and against a team untested in the Premier League. And as much as Liverpool will want to get off to a good start, it’s probably the one they can ‘afford’ a sub-par showing.
There’s no expectation that Liverpool will be flying anyway, given the short and awkward pre-season. That and it’s the season opener – you can’t expect players to be at their best.
Chelsea and Arsenal are big games. They’re games that will require Liverpool at their best and not games you throw in untested players just to have a look at them.
The Villa game would be ideal – if it weren’t so close to the window shutting. That creates a problem as Klopp would have just three days to make a decision on each player, find clubs willing to take them on, and finalise deals. That’s not how you get good money for your players.
Thus the opener against Leeds United offers the best chance. If Klopp wants to see what Wilson, Grujic and Brewster can do in the Premier League, Saturday may just be his opportunity.