On Saturday, Melwood will be graced with the return of a handful of Reds as pre-season training begins back at Liverpool, in what will be five weeks after Jürgen Klopp’s men emerged as European Champions.
Joël Matip, Fabinho, James Milner, Adam Lallana, a recovered Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and a northbound Nathaniel Clyne will all be in attendance as senior players not involved in international duty, as the Echo confirm.
This quintet will start the training schedule ahead of July’s pre-season fixtures, which will start with a meeting against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Thursday 11th July, before a visit to Bradford City that comes three days before the Reds jet off to the USA.
Along those set for inclusion in the preliminary training sessions, Rhian Brewster will be numbered amongst a group of other youngsters looking to impress Klopp ahead of the 2019/20 season.
When the plane takes off for the stateside tour England trio, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold will be on board, together with Scotland captain Andy Robertson, Dutchmen Virgil van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum, the Belgian duo of Divock Origi and Simon Mignolet, Croatia’s Dejan Lovren, and Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri.
We’ll be without the hugely successful Brazilians, Alisson Becker and Roberto Firmino, as they look to go all the way in the Copa América.
Equally, brace-scoring Sadio Mané is trying to fire Senegal to Africa Cup of Nations glory, while Mohamed Salah is aiming to do the same for the Pharoahs as Egypt host this year’s tournament.
Naby Keïta, too, is likely absentee, but for altogether less favourable circumstances as Liverpool doctors assess the state of his AFCON injuries back on Merseyside.
With our campaign stretched out by a further three weeks, owing to glorious journey to the Champions League final (we’re not complaining), many Premier League clubs have already begun their pre-season preparations.
We’re not too bothered about them though, the aim will be to get everyone back together to be fit and firing once the Community Shield game against Manchester City rolls around on the 4th August; our real season can begin when we host Norwich in the Friday night curtain-raiser of the 2019/20 Premier League season.