Liverpool desperation quietly growing as mouth-watering midfield options emerge

As pre-season gets underway at the AXA Training Center, the Blood Red column this week evaluates the rising optimism within the Liverpool camp.

When Liverpool go back to duty at the AXA Training Center in Kirkby today, Jurgen Klopp’s chuckles are probably going to be loud down Simonswood Lane.

Today (Saturday, July 8), as day one of the preseason schedule gets under way, the Reds manager will greet a few of his senior players with that recognizable smile.

Klopp and Andreas Kornmayer, his renowned taskmaster and drill sergeant, will put the team through its paces with intense jogging and the now-famous lactate tests on a day on the calendar that is undoubtedly loathed by the playing staff.

These kinds of days are essential to Klopp since he values working on the practice fields so highly and frequently bemoans his inability to do so during the busiest times of the season. He will assert that this is how he earns his corn.

Klopp will be even more eager to get his charges in shape in the upcoming days and weeks given his heightened ambition to ensure this summer goes more smoothly than last year, when his players succumbed to a string of muscular ailments between mid-July and the end of August.

In actuality, preparations for the 2023–24 season began months ago, but there has been a perception that Klopp and his backroom staff just lately strengthened their resolve and focused their attention to make sure the upcoming season is far more in line with what supporters have grown to expect.

On the transfer front, the manager and his recruitment team have reported success thus far £60m Dominik Szoboszlai joined the squad about three weeks after Brighton & Hove Albion’s £35 million release clause for Alexis MacAllister was activated.

Both players will give Liverpool’s overworked midfield department a new, fresh look going forward, and that’s even before a probable deal with Southampton for 19-year-old Romeo Lavia, whose combined sum of £95 million is the biggest major investment in five years at Anfield.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s dangerous range of passing from more central positions going forward, along with the tantalizing promise of it, gives the engine room an energy it hasn’t had since Thiago Alcantara joined the champions of England in September 2020.

Alexander-Arnold will soon be put to intriguing use. He excelled in a new “hybrid” role that required him to move into midfield when in possession, and he carried the No. 10 for England in victories over North Macedonia and Malta.

After the Three Lions matches, Alexander-Arnold reportedly shortened his vacation short to just a week in order to ensure that he would be as prepared as possible for his own return to preseason training on Tuesday.

He used the Portland, Oregon headquarters of sponsors New Balance to conduct training exercises aimed at enhancing his speed and stamina. In order to continue on his extraordinarily successful career to date at the age of 24, Alexander-Arnold faces a crucial campaign, and the work that has already been done implies that he understands it better than anyone.

Early in the upcoming season, the adaptable defender will play in his 300th Liverpool match, and a successful run there might help him establish himself as a key player for an England team that will enter the upcoming European Championship as one of the favorites.

Jordan Henderson, a team captain who has been working out in Portugal with former Liverpool physio Matt Konopinski, is another player whose desire to get better has caused the cancellation of another vacation. During his preseason exercises, the Reds skipper appeared more like a cruiserweight boxing champion than a football player on social media.

Even during the off-season like now, Konopinski told the ECHO last month, “footballers will take very little time off.” “They want to get better, but that is also challenging during the season, which has gotten much longer because it is so full with games.

So certainly, you can develop technically. However, if you consider physical qualities like strength, power, and speed, it might be harder since you might play two or three games a week.

Such commitment throughout the off-season will be a pleasing sight for Liverpool’s boss as he prepares to welcome back his international team the next week after starting the early planning for the upcoming season on Saturday.

Another positive development ahead of a crucial preseason period for the football team is that Klopp’s players appear to have avoided any postseason or international-related ailments.

Prior to the start of the season, Liverpool still has a lot of work to do both on and off the field, but the club has a lot to build on thanks to its early summer efforts. Initial optimism is growing.




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