‘A hell of an athlete’ – Neil Jones blown away by Liverpool star after pre-season training feat

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Trent Alexander-Arnold isn’t the only one to have been blown away by the first impression made by Dominik Szoboszlai in Liverpool training.

Neil Jones has also been wowed by the recent Reds recruit’s performance in the notorious lactate test, with footage shared on the club’s YouTube channel showing the Hungarian taking to the fiendishly rigorous exercise with apparent ease.

While some of the 22-year-old’s teammates appeared visibly shattered after the gruelling run, he looked like someone who’d just been out for a lengthy stroll along by the Merseyside docks.

In his latest Covering Liverpool Substack column, Jones was in awe of Szoboszlai’s fitness levels after hearing of his score from the lactate test, writing: “New boy Dominik Szoboszlai looks like he can run for days.

‘Bro, 20.2?!’ marvelled Alexander-Arnold after the Hungarian had seen off Luis Díaz and Cody Gakpo in his first fitness challenge on Merseyside. 20.2 is, I’m told, a serious score for a lactate test.

“In Szoboszlai, Liverpool look like they’ve bought a hell of an athlete, as well as a supremely-talented footballer.”

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Szoboszlai will ultimately be judged by what he does in matches for Liverpool over a prolonged period rather than one day of pre-season training, but it bodes very well that he performed so commendably in the dreaded lactate test.

The Hungary playmaker arrived at Anfield with a reputation for boasting a formidable work ethic, as per feedback to Jurgen Klopp from friends and close confidantes (The Athletic), as well as one of the 22-year-old’s former coaches in Gerhard Struber (The Redmen TV).

With the Reds set to face a regular Thursday-Sunday fixture schedule this season owing to their Europa League involvement, players’ fitness could be tested to its limits once the games start piling up, particularly during the winter months when midweek domestic matches usually kick in as well.

It therefore offers great encouragement that, from an admittedly minimal sample size, Szoboszlai seems more than able to stand up to the physical demands of playing for a Premier League club who also have European commitments.

If he impresses as much on the field of play as he did in his first day of pre-season training, Liverpool fans will be in for a treat once the Hungarian gets going on matchdays for Klopp’s side!

Ep79 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: Dominik Szoboszlai – a mix of De Bruyne/Gerrard/Zidane?

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