Jurgen Klopp has said he’ll only bring two Academy players on Liverpool’s upcoming tour of America.
The German, his coaching staff and squad leave on Thursday to take part in the International Champions Cup, where we’ll play marquee fixtures against Chelsea, AC Milan, Roma before taking on Barcelona back in England and starting the new season.
So far, Liverpool’s starlets have been most impressive in the three pre-season games against Fleetwood, Tranmere and Wigan, with many fans touting them for big things already.
Ben Woodburn’s scored twice, aged just 16, Trent Alexander-Arnold has looked assured and Ovie Ejaria has belied his 18-years with a string of composed performances. Ryan Kent’s looked dangerous and Cameron Brannagan tidy as well – but according to the Boss – only two will travel stateside.
“I think we’ll take two of them, but no final decision. It’s not about taking them. I think in the last few years in England it’s always a lot of youngsters in pre-season and everyone is excited about how good they are, then you never hear something about them,” he told the official website.
“I don’t want to do it like this – 100 per cent not. We see the qualities and we want to improve these guys, we want to develop them. That’s what we do. It’s not about America. [Ovie] Ejaria, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben are still in school – OK, at the moment it’s holidays but they have a few other things to do. That’s how life is, our lives were the same. We will be with them, help them, and we know about their qualities so it’s the best situation.”
Woodburn has generated the most hype due to his goals, but we can’t imagine he’ll travel because of his age and the fact Klopp has said he definitely won’t be involved in the first-team this term.
Brannagan and Kent are probably the most likely, although Klopp could be classing them as first-team squad members already (they’re 20 and 19 respectively), which means Ejaria and Alexander-Arnold could be selected as well.
We’d personally love to see Ejaria get the nod, having been wowed by the teenager’s physicality and eagerness to drive through central midfield.