For Liverpool’s players who weren’t involved in the Euros or Copa America in recent weeks, the offseason is over and pre-season training has begun as Jürgen Klopp’s Reds look to rebound from a difficult, injury-filled 2020-21 season.
For four key players, though, it’s not quite a full pre-season load quite yet. Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joël Matip, and Trent Alexander-Arnold are all just now returning from injuries and that means keeping a close eye on their workload.
“Let’s start with all four look really good,” Klopp said. “Now we are in constant talks with the medical department, the fitness department, the rehab department about what is right for them [and] do they have to do maybe a little bit less.
“Especially Virg and Joe will not have double sessions now for the first few days with the team. I don’t know exactly when we can make the next steps but it will happen in the next four weeks, for sure—we will get a big step forward.”
Of the quartet, Klopp noted Matip is currently closest to being ready to take part in every session with his teammates and will likely reach that point this week with Alexander-Arnold then likely to join him by the start of the next.
For all the Reds’ returned players, this first week of training will be followed by friendlies against four opponents in Austria, starting with back-to-back 30 minute friendlies against FC Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart next week.
“We try to get in step by step, having the first game in a few days,” Kopp added. “I’m really thrilled being back, to be honest. It was a really good holiday and since two or three weeks I could have been back already, mindset-wise.
“But it was not bad to have [some extra time] as well, and now we are here full of energy—let’s get started.”