Meet the kids looking to impress Klopp in Liverpool’s pre-season

The strike duo with 59 goals at U18 level last year, the next Matthijs de Ligt, returning loan stars and Steven Gerrard’s cousin… meet the kids looking to impress Jurgen Klopp in pre-season action for Liverpool

  • Liverpool begin their pre-season campaign against Tranmere on Thursday night
  • Jurgen Klopp likely to place trust in youth with star players yet to return
  • Sportsmail take a look at those who will be keen to impress ahead of USA tour 

From the Wanda Metropolitano to Prenton Park.

Five-and-a-half weeks after lifting their sixth European Cup, Liverpool begin their pre-season on Thursday night in the confines of Tranmere’s 16,000-seater stadium.

That night last month Jurgen Klopp started with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in attack, but it will all look very different this time around.

Jurgen Klopp has been getting a good look at Liverpool’s young talent in pre-season this week


July 11 – vs Tranmere Rovers (7.30pm) – Prenton Park, Tranmere

July 14 – vs Bradford City (3pm) – Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford

July 20 – vs Borussia Dortmund (1am) – Notre Dame Stadium, Indiana

July 21 – vs Sevilla (11pm) – Fenway Park, Massachusetts

July 25 – vs Sporting Lisbon (1am) – Yankee Stadium, New York

July 28 – vs Napoli (5pm) – Murrayfield, Edinburgh

July 31 – vs Lyon (6pm) – Stade de Geneve, Geneva

Aug 4 – vs Manchester City, Community Shield (3pm) – Wembley Stadium, London

Aug 14 – vs Chelsea, UEFA Super Cup (8pm) – Vodafone Park, Istanbul

With pre-season very much in its infancy there are plenty of players that have the chance to impress Klopp ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

And with minimal activity in the transfer market expected after a slow start already the German will be looking to youth over the next few weeks.

So who has the chance to take a step towards Klopp’s first-team squad for the coming season? Sportsmail has had a look at the runners and riders…

Sepp van den Berg

17, defender

Liverpool have spent just £4.4million in a summer that so far has very much looked towards the future. But Dutch Under 19 international Van den Berg may find himself thrust into the limelight sooner than later if talk of him being the next Matthijs de Ligt is anything to go by. Jurgen Klopp has plans to use the centre-back in the first-team this season and will get a good look at the signing from PEC Zwolle in pre-season.

Defender Sepp van den Berg is Liverpool’s only signing of the summer so far from PEC Zwolle

Ki-Jana Hoever

17, defender

Liverpool beat interest from among Europe’s elite to snare Ki-Jana Hoever from Ajax last summer and he has swiftly risen through through the ranks. He began training with the first-team in December last year and within a month he was impressing on debut against Wolves in the FA Cup with both his reading of the play and ability to take the ball forward. Versatility at covering both right-back and in the centre will endear him further to Klopp.

Dutch teenager Ki-Jana Hoever was handed his senior debut in the FA Cup last season

Nathaniel Phillips 

22, defender

A regular in first-team training at Melwood, Nat Phillips is yet to make his bow under Jurgen Klopp. Injury ruined the latter half of last season but after impressing on the tour to the United States last summer he will be sure to get another chance. 

Centre-back Nathaniel Phillips impressed on the pre-season tour to the USA last year

Anderson Arroyo 

19, defender

After joining Liverpool in February 2018, the Colombian youth international has spent much of his time away from Merseyside on loan spells at Mallorca B and Gent. He has been training at Melwood this pre-season and looks likely to feature at some point.

Anderson Arroyo has joined up with Liverpool for pre-season training at Melwood

Adam Lewis

19, defender

With Alberto Moreno departing on a free transfer, Liverpool have been in the hunt for a left-back to challenge Andy Robertson. But local boy Adam Lewis could save the club millions if he is given the opportunity to provide cover for the Scot. He is a regular for the Under 23s and in February put pen to paper on a new long-term deal. 

Local lad Adam Lewis is seen as a potential challenger for Andy Robertson’s left-back slot

Curtis Jones

18, midfielder

Another local lad that Liverpool fans are hoping can be the poster boy of the next generation. Jones featured heavily in pre-season last year but found first-team opportunities limited, featuring only once in the FA Cup at Wolves. Klopp has been buoyed by his mobility and dribbling ability, two crucial elements of any midfielder in his side. 

Curtis Jones is another local lad that Liverpool supports have placed a lot of hope in

Ovie Ejaria

21, midfielder

After making his senior debut for the club in 2016, Ejaria has struggled to kick on in the subsequent years. Loan spells at Sunderland, Rangers – which was aborted halfway through – and Reading have proved unsuccessful. This pre-season may be his last chance to state his claim for an Anfield future.

Ovie Ejaria has struggled to kick on in various loan spells since making his debut in 2016

Ryan Kent

22, midfielder

He turns 23 later this year but the winger has still only played once for Liverpool – back in 2016. Five loan spells have taken him from Freiburg in Germany to the heat of the Old Firm derby at Rangers, but Kent remains a Liverpool player. Whether he remains one by August 9 depends almost entirely on how he performs in these next few weeks.

Ryan Kent has been on loan from Liverpool five times including a spell at Rangers last year

Harry Wilson 

22, midfielder

Like Kent, time is running out for Welsh winger Wilson to prove he has a future at Liverpool. He impressed on loan at Derby last season and is expected to be given this pre-season to show his worth. Competition for places is fierce in the three forward areas but the Reds lack options beyond Mane, Salah and Firmino.

Harry Wilson was a leading light in Derby’s charge to the Championship play-offs last season

Ben Woodburn

19, forward

Welsh international Woodburn is the youngest goalscorer in Liverpool’s history but has barely been given a chance since netting against Leeds in November 2016. Loan spell at Sheffield United last season was cut short and he badly needs game time if he is to fulfil his potential. Pre-season will give him the chance to put himself in the shop window if Liverpool are keen to find a club to loan him to.

Ben Woodburn was sent back to Liverpool during a disappointing loan spell at Sheffield United

Paul Glatzel 

18, forward

The captain of the Under 18s side and a prolific goalscorer at youth level. Born in Liverpool, Glatzel has dual heritage as both his parents are German and scored the winning penalty in last season’s FA Youth Cup final against Manchester City, one of 29 in the campaign altogether. Klopp has already promised him a role this pre-season.

Paul Glatzel captained Liverpool’s Under 18s last season and scored 29 times

Bobby Duncan 

18, forward

The second half of Liverpool’s prolific strike partnership at Under 18 level… and a cousin of club legend Steven Gerrard. Boyhood Liverpool fan and an England Under 18 international, he was snared from Manchester City last summer. Struck 30 times last season and will be given his chance by Klopp this pre-season.

Bobby Duncan – a cousin of Steven Gerrard – scored 30 times for the Under 18s last year

Rhian Brewster 

19, forward

Still yet to make a professional appearance for Liverpool, but that didn’t stop the Under 17 World Cup golden boot winner wearing his Champions League medal to the barbers. After an injury-ravaged 18 months Brewster is expected to be handed a belated elevation into the Anfield first-team this season. With the world-class front three missing the start of pre-season Brewster will be leading the line.

Expectations are high for Rhian Brewster, who is yet to play for Liverpool’s first-team

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