Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool won’t risk playing Virgil van Dijk or Joe Gomez in the preseason until they are completely ready to return.
Van Dijk has been out since last October with an ACL injury, and days later Gomez was also sidelined for the year when he injured his left knee, requiring surgery.
The two trained with Liverpool in their pre-season camp in Austria, but were not involved in any friendly action, and Klopp says they are unlikely to play a minute in the next pre-season game. Reds season against Hertha Berlin on Thursday, July 29.
Speaking after Friday’s 1-0 win over Mainz on LFC TV, Klopp said: “It would always be a surprise [if they played against Hertha], Sadly.
“They look really good. But look, they do everything, they play football, we do the things we can do, they don’t overdo it, we just have to be patient. We are preparing for a season. complete, not a pre-season game.
“I won’t take the risk for a game here. We still have a lot of games to come, but I don’t see them being involved for the next one.”
Luca Kilian’s self-owning goal settled a lackluster case in Austria on Friday against Klopp’s former side, but the German was happy with what he saw, although it wasn’t perfect.
“You always have to think about what you did the day before. We had a double session [Thursday], trained this morning, and that’s exactly what you need. Good intensive stuff, and try to play the best football you can. It’s the preseason.
“I’m happy with a lot of the situations I’ve seen. In the first half, I saw very good football, we passed the ball pretty quickly against a good organized team, a good defending team. was far from perfect, but it’s absolutely AGREE.
“The kids forced a result in the second half, and they got it, so I’m happy with that.
“We had to defend of course; in terms of organization it’s not even close to where we need to be, but how is it? When you’re tired you try to bring the best organization you can on the pitch is never 100% I think the boys did that today and so I’m happy
“No one is hurt, which is important, everyone is okay, everything is fine.”
Klopp made a decent start to Ibrahima Konate’s summer signing in the win, but changed his entire squad at half-time, giving minutes to Billy Koumetio, Leighton Clarkson, Kaide Gordon, Owen Beck and Tyler Morton, after pitching Harvey Elliott from the start.
“Harvey Elliott in the first half was really good. The kids are doing well, I have to say. I really like watching them and helping them understand the game better, the position, they have to be brave or else it’s a loss. of time.
“In our system, the way we play, we have to make a difference in one-on-one situations, you get the ball, if you can make a little difference with a little acceleration, all of a sudden the game changes. .
“We did it, Owen (Beck) did it a few times, Kaide (Gordon) did it too. We had good balls behind for Divock (Origi). Billy (Koumetio) played his first game pre-season, that was fine too, so everything is fine. “
Analysis: All eyes are on Konate, but Keita and Gordon impress
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“Liverpool were never going to turn the rings to one side two weeks later in their preparation for the new season, and the old adage ‘performance doesn’t matter in the preseason’ is needed here.
“It was a really boring affair for large pieces, lacking in fluidity and rhythm, but there were a handful of things that Jurgen Klopp would be delighted with.
“Naby Keita, who needs to relaunch his career at Liverpool, was the brightest player in the first half, showing brilliant skill and tight control on several occasions to break deadlock and create Harvey Elliott too, impressed, and was honored by Klopp for his praise.
“On his debut all eyes were also on Ibrahima Konate, and it was a 6/10 performance from the 22-year-old. A sloppy concession of possession, followed by a brilliant recovery to reclaim the balloon, roughly summed up his 45 minutes.
“The second half dramatically reduced Liverpool’s average age, and although Owen Beck will get praise for ‘setting up’ the own goal, 16-year-old Kaide Gordon impressed the most.
Gordon chased it all out, almost promoting a howler from the Mainz goalkeeper as he chased a back pass, looked quick and even produced a pretty stunning and daring dummy to create a chance for Divock Origi late.
“It’s hard to draw too many conclusions from two 45-minute batches, but Klopp’s glass was half full rather than half empty.”
Liverpool take on Hertha Berlin on Thursday July 29 at 7.20pm at Tivoli Stadion Tirol in Innsbruck, Austria.