With Liverpool having already secured first place in their Europa League group, Thursday’s final group stage match against Royale Union Saint-Gilloise is a chance for manager Jürgen Klopp to leave some of his key stars at home to rest in the midst of a busy run.
Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Alisson Becker have all been left on Merseyside, but even with that and heavy rotation expected on the evening it’s clear Liverpool have some enviable depth to work with amongst the players who travelled.
“You see the talent that we’ve brought in and the talent already around the club,” said midfielder Harvey Elliott of what might be the strongest and deepest squad Klopp has yet had at his disposal, with the youngster one of the expected starters at Union.
“But it’s a healthy competition, healthy relationships between the players, and we are always wanting to drive each other on. No one is being selfish in that aspect of I want to play. We are all there to support each other and to make a difference when called upon.”
Even without a few of the club’s veteran leaders, players like Dominik Szoboszlai, Darwin Nunez, and Cody Gakpo have travelled, and in addition to Elliott there are established younger players like Curtis Jones and Jarell Quansah expected to be involved.
“You look at the squad and we have world-class players, but it’s about making sure I take the opportunities,” Elliott added. “When I get these chances to go out and play I have to make sure I affect the game well and maybe bring something different to the team.
“I always need to be patient in my career. It’s not going to be straightforward. There are always going to be ups and downs, but you just need to keep working hard. I am just happy to be putting the shirt on but this season I really want to kick on my game.”