While waiting for Naby Keïta to join strengthen Liverpool and Emre Can to sign a new contract, the return of Jordan Henderson from a chronic foot injury that kept him out of action since February is ultimately good news for the club's midfield options. Henderson turned 27 last month, impressed in the number six role as Jürgen Klopp's surprise selection, and is an underrated captain.
After two appearances in two pre-season games against Tranmere and Wigan Athletic, Henderson is clearly part of Liverpool's preparations for the new season. The 27-year-old revealed that he is positive about his fitness and physical condition.
"I feel good. I’ve got a few more weeks to build on my fitness but my body feels good," the captain declared. "I got through the last couple of games, which was a good confidence boost to get going again. I look forward to the next few weeks and hopefully I can go from strength to strength and be ready for the first game of the season.
"I’m just happy that I’m back training with the lads and playing games. I have been out for a while so I still think I’ve got a little bit more to go in terms of my general fitness and match fitness. Hopefully I’ll keep training and keep playing games, and that’ll come."
After two warm up games against lower league teams, Premier League opposition lie in wait at Hong Kong. Crystal Palace, Liverpool's next opponents, will offer a far sterner test under new manager Ronald de Boer.
"The previous two matches were good for us, starting back in pre-season, good games for us to get fitness and get going again," Henderson said.
"It’s a step up with Premier League teams. They will be good games for us, for fitness and technical and tactical stuff. We’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can win."