After falling to Galatasaray 3-0 in a friendly on Saturday, which is surely one of the oddest scorelines you're bound to see this summer, League One side Shrewsbury Town defeated Liverpool's U21s this morning in a private practice match. This was the U21s first match of the pre-season, but unfortunately the result is about all we know with the club thus far tight-lipped on the U21 pre-season. When other news emerges, I'll update you in the comments.
The U18s had their first friendly this morning as well, playing Derby County U18s behind closed doors. Highly rated 16 year-old Welshman Harry Wilson scored twice as Liverpool came from behind to beat Derby 2-1. Interesting to note that many of the U18 stars from last year mentioned in the season recap did not appear, as they were presumably with the U21s today, nor did Sergi Canos. When and if game footage emerges, we'll bring it to you.
General News & Notes
As the senior squad prepared for its departure to Asia and Australia, some have speculated with respect to which youth players might be involved. Today we have our answer: Jordon Ibe, Jack Robinson, and Jon Flanagan. There's been an obvious shift in approach this pre-season for Liverpool; whereas last year was all about getting a look at various players, this year is about knuckling down and getting ready for the season. The other young players are apparently not being counted upon to be a big part of the senior side—at least to start the season—and have been left behind accordingly.
Daniel Pacheco had originally been named in the traveling squad, but then something happened:
Finally not traveling to Asia. Will talk about my future this season in next couple of days. Thank you. YNWA— Daniel Pacheco (@dani37pacheco) July 16, 2013
Seems we'll have a definitive answer to the Pacheco Conundrum one way or another very soon.
For those who didn't see this link during the Preston match thread, here is a pretty intriguing interview by U21 manager Alex Inglethorpe. He provides insight into the developmental philosophy of the club, his own personal aspirations, and the burning question on everybody's mind: how the heck do you pronounce Ibe. Please have a listen so we can avoid having the debate all year.
Transfer News & Speculation
Krisztian Adorjan Only Going on Loan to FC Groningen
After Adorjan joined Dutch side Groningen on trial last week, the only question was whether the resulting move would be permanent or merely a loan. The Hungarian played 60 minutes in Groningen's friendly against Helmond Sport on Saturday and by all accounts impressed, leading the club to push for a move for the upcoming season. Yesterday Voetbal International reported that the move will only be a loan, but that both sides are keen and so it should wrap up quickly. Seems like a good move for all involved and we'd like to wish Krisztian the best.
Liverpool Chasing Chelsea Youth Duo?
Jose Mourinho and his ego have landed in London, leaving some Chelsea youth players wondering if the club is the right place for their future development. Two have reportedly been drawing Liverpool's attention—Islam Feruz, the promising Scottish attacker who is familiar to those who watched the FA Youth Cup last year, has England's top clubs keeping a close eye on his current contract negotiations with Chelsea. This smells like agent-speak, for as promising as Feruz appears to be it seems unlikely Chelsea would let him go, especially as he's been included in Chelsea's first-team squad for the pre-season tour. Conor Hunte, the England Under-17 star, has reportedly been released from the club and reports vary regarding the reason (ranging from contract disputes to behavioral problems) and Liverpool is rumored to be interested.
Armin Hodzic Returns to Liverpool
18 year-old Bosnian striker Armin Hodzic first arrived at Liverpool in 2011 after having broken numerous youth goalscoring records in Bosnia. Having failed to secure a work permit, he spent the next two seasons on loan with his original club Željezničar Sarajevo, and in this most recent year was voted player of the season by the club's fans. There have been several unconfirmed reports that Hodzic has finally gained a work permit and will return to Liverpool for the upcoming season, and it'll be interesting to see if he can join the mix for the ever-crowded striker position at the Under 21 squad.