Having a FIFA World Cup in the middle of the season is less than ideal. To get the team back up to speed before returning to competition, Jürgen Klopp and his mighty Reds not involved in the World Cup travelled to Dubai for a mini-training camp. One of the silver linings was the opportunity for quite a few of the more promising Academy players to train as part of the first team, and get to audition in training and in friendlies.
One of those youngsters to catch the eye of the manager was defender Luke Chambers. During the training camp, Klopp went out of his way to laud Chambers, claiming he had ‘everything’ required to be a central defender, though added ‘apart from a body yet’.
“When you hear something like that, it’s always a really big confidence boost,” Chambers said of the comments from Klopp. “I’ll keep going in the gym and keep building up as much as I can. I’m sure that’ll come.”
Chambers has primarily played as a left back during his time with the senior team, but was given opportunities in training to step inside. He has played as a central defender with the Academy, however, and feels having positional flexibility can only help him in the future.
“It’s always good adding a new position into your game. Left centre-back I’ve played quite a few times for the U19s in the Youth League. Maybe in the future, you never know, I could be a left centre-back or left-back. It’s always good trying out new positions.”
“If they want to put me at left centre-back or left-back, I think I can do a job there. I think it gives you more opportunities if you have more positions that you can play. At left centre-back and left-back, I think I can do them both really comfortably.”
Chambers also went on to speak about what it has been like to get an extra opportunity to train and play with the senior team. He was on the preseason tour with Liverpool in Asia this summer, and felt like these special opportunities to train with the first team has helped him grow as a player in a short period of time.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. When I come on trips like this with the first team, I always try to learn as much as I can and I always look at the players in my position and try to take as much as I can off them. You always have to take your opportunity when you’re up here and you just have to keep working. Hopefully more will come.
“I’d like to think I’ve improved when I look back. Where I was in Singapore and when I look at myself now, I think I’ve come on quite a bit. But obviously I’ve still got stuff to improve on, so I can keep working on that and get as good as I can.”