Summer tours are about many things: building and retaining an international fanbase, a chance for the club's brands to plaster their logos all over weird and wacky photo ops, and an opportunity for the players to return to full fitness while new recruits and old hands begin to gel. They're also an opportunity for fans to see way more of the club's youngest players than they ever would during the regular season.
Likewise, it's an opportunity for those players to catch the eye of the manager in hopes that they'll get to stick around the first team when the season kicks off, rather than get sent back to the reserves or out on loan somewhere in the Championship. Joao Teixeira is all too aware of how much a tour can make it or break it for a young player, and he's hoping his performances so far have put him in the running for a spot in Brendan Rodgers' regular rotation.
"I fractured my fibula and damaged two ankle ligaments so it was a tough time," Teixeira said, referring to the cause of his long injury layoff last season. "I had surgery and then my summer was spent with the Liverpool physios trying to get back fit as quickly as I possibly could. I didn’t have a holiday, I just spent the time getting fit. I knew how important this pre-season period would be and I didn’t want to miss the tour.
"I played 45 minutes in Bangkok and then to get an hour in the training match was good. I am very happy to be back at Liverpool and wearing the shirt again. Getting some minutes is important. I really want to prove I can be a player for this club. I improved a lot last season. The Championship is a really physical and quick league. As a young player it was good for me to play against so many experienced players."
Liverpool head back to England this weekend before jetting off to Finland for their final international friendly of the pre-season against HJK. Whether Teixeira will find himself with additional minutes in that match remains to be seed, but early returns are looking positive for Teixeira.