Liverpool cruised to a very easy 4-0 victory over Thai All-Stars in Bangkok yesterday, and in truth, the scoreline heavily flattered the mismatched opponents.
But Brendan Rodgers still found time after the game to praise the role played by the summer signings – all of whom impressed – especially Divock Origi, who was featuring for the first time since signing last July.
“I thought Divock was excellent,” Rodgers began, reported in the Echo.
“You can see his movement and what really pleased me tonight was his persistence.
“He had a couple of chances that he missed that he would want to score but he kept going and was very positive.
“He showed how good he is in the air, it was a great cross into the box and a great header that he scored.”
Origi spent last season on loan with Lille, but is expected to be very much part of the first-team squad this term. He squandered a number of opportunities yesterday, clearly desperate to make a strong impression, but crucially – he bagged late on with a towering header.
As well as the prodigal Belgian, Lazar Markovic excelled in a central no.10 role in the first-half.
“Lazar was playing in a position in the first half just behind the front two and he broke forward really well and it was an excellent finish,” Rodgers continued.
“In the first year here Lazar was adapting as a really young player to a big club but hopefully in this second year he can really push on.”
Rodgers was also keen to congratulate the rest of his summer signings, all of which featured apart from Roberto Firmino, who’s been allowed an extended rest because of his involvement with Brazil in the Copa America.
“I was pleased for all the new players that played. I thought James Milner was outstanding, showed his quality and his intensity, Nathaniel Clyne was excellent, Joe Gomez came in for the first half and was very good and (Adam) Bogdan was secure. All those players fitted in with our way of working very well.
Finally, young Portuguese playmaker Joao Teixeira did very well in the first-half, which surprised many fans considering he broke his leg while playing for Brighton on loan in April.
“Joao has got experience now, he went out on loan to Brighton so for him and the other young players we are going to need a big squad,” Rodgers added.
“Every young player if they have that personality and appetite they will have a chance.
“All these young players are fighting to show they can be in the squad.”
We next face Brisbane Roar on Friday in Australia as the pre-season preparation ramps up, before another fixture versus Adelaide United is booked in for Monday.