Liverpool’s training session yesterday was missing a number of first-team faces for a variety of reasons.
According to the Liverpool Echo, at least six Liverpool players sat out of Friday’s session at the AXA Training Centre.
Among those were reportedly injured trio Diogo Jota, Alisson Becker and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Also named as being out of action were Darwin Nunez, Virgil Van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara. The three were ‘more than likely’ part of a bigger group of players given ‘a few days off’ after returning late following the summer internationals.
There was good news though, as Joe Gomez returned from injury to reportedly complete the full session.
Not ideal preparation for Liverpool
It doesn’t feel ideal that a whole host of Jurgen Klopp’s key men are being given even more time off.
Yes, the players need a little rest after playing friendlies so late in the season. But they already missed almost a week at the start of the month.
Coupled with the fact that The Reds have injuries, it seems unlikely that the full squad will be fit and ready for the Community Shield on 30th July. Or the Premier League kick-off the week after that.
Before then, Liverpool have two more games and a training camp in Austria. Preparations will have to be ramped up to ensure full match fitness heading into the season.
Klopp will be hoping this tactic pays off in the long run. Teams can now make five substitutes in all competitions, and he’ll no doubt be using that to the maximum to keep everyone fresh.
From someone like Nunez’s point of view though, he could do with as much time on the training pitch as possible. Liverpool need him to gel with his fellow attackers quickly, and that won’t happen with more time off.
As it stands, the only regular starters to have been present throughout pre-season are Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson and Luis Diaz. Fingers crossed that doesn’t catch up with Liverpool with a slow start out the blocks.