Liverpool kicked off their pre-season on Tuesday with two friendlies. Here are three things we learned from the games.
Kaide Gordon got his chance to play with some first-team players in the first fixture against Wacker Innsbruck. He impressed, too.
Gordon arrived at the start of the year from Derby County as a very bright young talent. He eventually shone in the academy, scoring fairly regularly and earning himself a promotion to Under 23 level.
We think Gordon is a very, very promising youngster and his performance here only backs that up. The teenager looks comfortable, exciting and ready, in all truth.
So perhaps we’ll see Gordon in the actual first-team next season. We’d back Jurgen Klopp to put him on the bench in the League Cup and, depending on the opposition, perhaps throw him into a game.
Gordon is currently smashing it at every stage in his development. He looks set to do that in pre-season, too, and he’s increasingly becoming someone to be very excited about.
Some new positions
Liverpool used Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as a centre-forward/False 9 in the second of the friendlies against Stuttgart. On top of that, he put Harvey Elliott in midfield.
Both positions make a lot of sense. Oxlade-Chamberlain is at his best closer to goal, while his ability in midfield allows him to drop deep comfortably.
Elliott is a naturally creative player with plenty of energy – turning him into a midfielder could prove an inspired decision. That would be a very attacking move that creates a very interesting right-hand side.
Elliott swapping and moving between the lines with Mohamed Salah sounds like a dream – if the youngster fulfils his potential.
Tsimikas looks on it
We barely saw Kostas Tsimikas last season. Injuries all over the squad – including to the Greek – kept him out of the side.
He played a grand total of six Premier League minutes, meaning we don’t actually know what he’s about. Hopefully, then, the game against Stuttgart was a sign.
Tsimikas was full of energy and constantly looking to find a run in behind. He was happy to move beyond Sadio Mane and be the furthest forward. He wanted to play one-twos with teammates to create openings.
His run for Liverpool’s equaliser showed that off well. Everyone else switched off but Tsimikas saw space to attack as James Milner looked up.
The run, pass, and cutback were perfect for Mane to finish but Tsimikas made it happen. And if he can keep that up, he’ll be solid backup to Andy Robertson.