The Reds were missing a host of first teamers in their final preseason tune up following a spate of international fixtures but managed to overcome an early two goal deficit to run out 7-2 over Neil Critchley’s Blackpool.
Supporters had been hoping for a first preseason appearance for captain Jordan Henderson as he works his way back from knee injury at the end of previous campaign. However, the 30-year-old was held out, with Klopp providing an update:
“Obviously Hendo was desperate to play a few minutes today as well, but it makes no real sense because he had to do an important session today for him,” Klopp said speaking to the team website.
“If he would have played today, 10 minutes or so would have probably been OK. But that makes no sense. So that was not possible, but he trained in big parts of this week and will probably join full team training next Tuesday.
“Timing-wise, not perfect that he cannot play today, but can train a few days later fully. But that’s how it is.
“We will see how he develops, [there are] a few days until Leeds, how the boys come back from the national teams. A lot of open questions still, but a few hopefully we can answer today.”
While we didn’t get a Henderson sighting, one player who did get a run out was 17-year-old center back, Billy Koumetio, a highly-rated academy product sources have hinted could be the fourth choice center back going into the season as a replacement for Dejan Lovren. The youngster struggled somewhat in the spotlight, giving the ball away for Blackpool’s opening goal.
The manager chose to focus on the positives in the Frenchman’s performance however, singling the youngster out for recognition:
“Billy so far played an exceptional pre-season,” Klopp continued. “17 years old, still growing, still learning every day, really nice, so good to give him the opportunity to play in a game like this.”
The Reds will begin their Premier League title defense a week from today when they open the season against newly-promoted Leeds.