Jurgen Klopp expects to see Liverpool’s youth starlets make significant progress this pre-season after gaining valuable experience since last summer.
Last season saw the Reds boss hand first team opportunities to a number of U23s stars with the German reminding all of his dedication to the development of the club’s youngsters.
Klopp now looks set to take advantage of the busy pre-season schedule by using it to monitor and experiment with those coming off the back of their breakthrough campaigns.
The German also outlined the importance of the young members of the squad settling down and no longer feeling starstruck when training alongside the club’s elite players.
“Usually you always want to take the next step from one year to the next year,” he told Liverpool.com.
“You have to see how things fit and when the new players are in.”
“Young players are one year older, that doesn’t make the biggest difference but being one year longer involved in the first team.”
“They can make big steps because they are a little bit settled in a good way. They feel not as excited anymore about each day in training, thinking ‘Oh my god, that’s Adam Lallana next to me’ and things like this. That can be a big difference.”
“You have to probably make one or two steps back to then make five or six steps in the right direction. They are the same objectives.”
Liverpool’s senior figures have been excellent in helping the less experienced players enjoy a smooth transition from youth football to the big stage.
Not only have they been at hand to assist them in training but they have also displayed their faith in them and worked hard to give them their support on match-days.
It was the notable impetus towards making 2016/2017 a team effort that played such a vital role in the likes of Ben Woodburn, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria being able to express themselves and play with confidence when called up to the first team.
All three will undoubtedly have a part to play next season having rewarded Klopp’s faith and proven they are capable of being reliable and effective options in cup competitions.