Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reiterated he did not anticipate an active transfer window before the start of the new Premier League season after watching his back-up players impress in the club’s first warm-up fixture.
A 6-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers included a couple of goals for exciting young striker Rhian Brewster, while another academy striker Bobby Duncan struck a debut goal.
Klopp has vowed to give youth a chance while he waits for all his senior players to return from holiday. Of the 22 players who featured at Prenton Park, only five played in last May’s Champions League final.
Although Liverpool may yet add to their squad before August, they are not pursuing the stellar names at the more expensive end of the market as they seek back-up to an already strong first team.
“The transfer market is open. We will see what we do, but I don’t think it will be the biggest transfer window of all time,” confirmed Klopp.
“Rhian Brewster and Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t play last year. All the young boys didn’t play for us last year
“It is a difficult pre-season for us – Sadio Mane is in the (African Cup of Nations) semi-final which means he has two more games and will come (back) late. The Brazilians have finally finished a 13-month season. We looked tonight like we can find some solutions. It was a good sign for us, but we have to be better than last season.”
Brewster naturally caught the eye and was the focus of attention given his potential is one of the reasons Liverpool see no reason to invest heavily in a replacement for Daniel Sturridge.
As is the norm whenever a teenage talent emerges, Klopp finds himself trying to ensure the pressure is not too great on the 19 year-old, while at the same time reiterating why he has so much faith in him.
“First and foremost we are in 2019. We should stop talking about the player who scored two goals and overlooking what others do in the other 89 minutes,” said Klopp.
“Rhian Brewster – I love the boy, he is fantastic player but one of the goals I would have scored.
“He played a really good game and I saw other good performances – Harry (Wilson) and Ryan (Kent) in the first half and then in the second-half incredibly strong. We knew Rhian was a good player before.
Why should I play it down? I just don’t want to talk after a game about the guy who scored two goals. I saw a really good game and Rhian is a fantastic player. We can talk about him no problem. I don’t want to play him down or it down.”
Asked if the season ahead could be a breakthrough year for Brewster at senior level, Klopp added: “One hundred per cent, but it depends on him as well. Rhian Brewster is a top striker, he is a top talent and I have told him already that he has an important role this year but how important depends on him. We will see. He has to play different positions as well – the centre, wing is possible I think, we will see how we line up, but there will be opportunities for him. Divock Origi stays, which is good news. Bobby Firmino is still there.”
After the celebrations of being European champions, Klopp was in the mood to look forward to collect more honours. There is a chance to fight for three trophies before the end of 2019.
“They should be happy and get confidence from it, but it is not like we are running around saying we are Champions league winners 24-hours a day,” said Klopp.
“It looked tonight like they are all confident. During the season we have to go for winning something new and not look back. We want to play the best season we can play.”
Divock Origi, Nathaniel Clyne and Curtis Jones were also scorers against the League One side.