When reflecting on Liverpool’s preparations prior to the resumption of domestic football, Pep Lijnders was keen to pay special attention to the performances of Kaide Gordon and Harvey Elliott.
The young pair took their opportunities with both hands, attracting praise for somewhat mature outings.
“As I write, I am standing here with two big talents straight after this meeting while Fabinho is playing Bobby in table tennis,” Jurgen Klopp’s No.2 wrote for liverpoolfc.com.
“Kaide’s first game was his highlight of this tour, the second one was even better because there were fans there. He learned his positioning to press. It’s an intensity he’d never felt.
“The disallowed goal was his worst moment, I’m sure.
“Kaide is chatting with Trent and Robbo while I’m writing. Our two full-backs are lying on the couch giving advice and talking. Obviously, the young talents didn’t beat them in the table tennis tonight, haha!
“The highlight of putting on the shirt again belonged to Harvey. How to react in different situations and compose himself was a lesson learned. The loss to Hertha was not nice for him.
“But we are strong together. These two boys felt this. The younger boys were excellent, the older boys were excellent.”
The Reds are set to face Athletic Bilbao this afternoon in the club’s first pre-season clash at Anfield with a 75% capacity allowed.
Having exceeded expectations in the Championship, there’s the expectation that Elliott will be handed some minutes in the first-team this coming campaign – potentially beyond just the cup fixtures, given how well he has acclimatised to the tactical demands of Klopp’s setup.
The plan for 16-year-old Gordon, however, remains something of an enigma, with a loan spell seeming the most likely option originally prior to pre-season.
Performing exceeding well in the club’s warmup fixtures has somewhat flipped the script for the coaching staff, potentially putting the teenager in contention for cup minutes next term.
It’s a difficult decision to make, of course, with a more regular supply of minutes, potentially via a loan spell, to encourage the former Derby County Academy graduate’s development also an attractive option.
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