Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool returned to action to begin their preparations for the 2018/19 season with a 7-0 thumping of non-league side Chester FC on Saturday.
Chester 0-7 LFC: A good run out for several first team players along with youngsters ended in an easy win for the Reds.
The 7-0 result obviously doesn’t matter with it being preseason, but there’s plenty to discuss from the aftermath of the tie.
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) June 26, 2018
He’s back. He’s fit. He scored twice.
The man who’s loan move to West Bromwich Albion in January lasted as long as Panama’s attempts to advance past the group stages at the World Cup, finds himself in limbo at Anfield.
His injury-ravaged LFC career has had it’s ups and downs to say the least, but many supporters thought the end of Sturridge would come in this window.
It still may be the case, but he may have done enough to show Jurgen he can play a role this term with a brace in the second half – the second of which rivalled Ryan Kent’s strike for goal of the game.
Besides his goals he looked sharp and up to the challenge of battling to stay at Liverpool beyond the summer. His pass for Sheyi Ojo, which saw Liverpool awarded a penalty, was exquisite.
One to keep an eye on as the days draw closer to August.
Ryan Kent, Harry Wilson loans?
Two of the highest rated young players at Liverpool both got 45 minutes to show their stuff against Chester, and both took their chances to shine.
A first half double from Wilson will excite the numerous scouts from clubs who are undoubtely watching him in the hope of securing a loan move for the young Welshman.
What a chip from Harry Wilson for the first goal. pic.twitter.com/sTBBr4no92
— Sam (@VintageSalah) July 7, 2018
He may not be allowed to leave if Klopp decides he can play a part in his squad.
Kent scored an outstanding curled effort to throw himself back in the spot light after mixed loan moves in recent seasons.
Ryan Kent on @LFCTV: "I think it was a learning experience to be able to go to probably the second-best league in Europe in the Bundesliga, and making my debut against Bayern Munich… I took many things away from last season and hopefully I can build on that again." pic.twitter.com/lqAUsShLv5
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) July 7, 2018
One thing is for sure: 45 minutes against Chester isn’t going to be enough to secure a space in the first team squad. However, a consistent preseason just might – and that started well for both here.
— KING SALAH (@LfcNo10) July 7, 2018
Ovation for Karius
Liverpool’s much-maligned number one goalkeeper was given a warm welcome by spectators at the Swansway Chester Stadium despite his antics in Kyiv.
And that’s the exact thing he needs.
Listen, I’m not stupid and neither are you. Karius cost us a chance at winning the European Cup for a sixth time in May and a replacement is needed.
I know that. You know that. More importantly, Jurgen knows that.
He won’t come out and say it, because until a replacement arrives he has no option to pick Karius in goal. He could pick Danny Ward, but let’s not start that argument here. Simon Mignolet is as good as out the door.
Karius needs an arm around the shoulder and pat on the back right now. He made huge errors on the club football’s biggest stage, concussed or not.
The fact that several rumours are flying around about Liverpool sizing up new ‘keepers isn’t all paper talk.
Recent speculation linking the Reds with Nick Pope & Lazio's Thomas Strakosha is wide of the mark – Alisson was the one Klopp wanted but hopes have been dented by Roma's £70M+ asking price and the Brazilian's desire to join Madrid. [@JamesPearceEcho] pic.twitter.com/B9ZvUpwlCi
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) June 23, 2018
The following goalkeepers have all been linked with the Reds since May. Jack Butland, Alisson Becker, Jan Oblak, Kasper Schmeichel, Thomas Strakoshka, Nick Pope, Jasper Cillessen and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Granted, some of them rumours will be complete nonsense designed to fill time and space until the season returns by the sports media world, but it still proves a point.
Klopp has shown in the past he will wait until he can get what he wants, so don’t expect the Reds to break the bank to attract Oblak, and certainly not Alisson after his World Cup showings.
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) July 4, 2018
Until he is confident of signing exactly what he wants, like it or not, we’ve got to stick with Karius. He did play extremely well for an extended period of time when he returned, and they say you’ve got to fail to learn to succeed.
What to do with Divock Origi
A tough one, this.
Origi made his first appearence since returning from a season-long loan at Wolfsburg and looked in good shape.
Before kick off, he was issuing instructions to youngster Curtis Jones and made himself a threat on the right hand side of a front three. He linked with the ever-overlapping Nathaniel Clyne well at times.
However, his attitude and quality have been questioned at times. The fact he is playing against a non-league side while his national team, who he’s made 25 appearances for, are in the semi final’s of the World Cup says a lot.
Liverpool are genuinely in need of backup for their front three, though. Danny Ings could be allowed to leave for the right price, and Dominic Solanke’s inexperience may not be enough. Origi could provide depth for all three positions.
Keita, Fabinho debut
The two big summer signings both played 45 minutes, but seperately in either half.
Fabinho struck the post and committed one lunging foul in his otherwise decent showing.
— ⚽️ Love4 Liverpool FC ⚽️ (@Love4LFC) July 7, 2018
He was also caught signing autographs for the spectators close to the dugout in the second half. A good way to get people on your side early on.
Naby Keita had his go in the second half and showed glimpses of what to expect next season from the diminutive central midfielder.
He almost got on the scoresheet himself after a one-two with Ings led him to a sliced effort wide of the goal with his left foot. The huge smile on his face after the effort made everything okay again.
Nothing to get to carried away about, but it was great to see two big names make their debuts, especially after the long wait for Naby to arrive.
In the words of Jay-Z, ‘it’s on to the next one’ and recently promoted Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday. I doubt Hov will be there, thou