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Sakho and Mignolet Join Liverpool to Complete Preseason Squad

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Liverpool's squad is finally completed on Saturday, with its final two arrivals in Mamadou Sakho and Simon Mignolet joining the rest of the team in Chicago.

Ian Walton

Of the 33-man squad that was announced ahead of Liverpool trip stateside last weekend, all but Tiago Ilori are now present, as Mamadou Sakho and Simon Mignolet have joined up after their extended post-World Cup holiday. Ilori reportedly remained on Merseyside after suffering an injury early in the friendly against Brondby, but all others have been involved in training, with Sakho and Mignolet now playing catch-up with a squad that's increasing their preparations with just three weeks left before the start of the new Premier League season.

Both players arrive in interesting circumstances; things seem clearer for Mignolet than Sakho, but the Belgian still faces the first actual meeting with the man he replaced last summer. Pepe Reina is, by all accounts, still headed for an exit at some point this summer, but it'll be interesting to see what--if any--sort of interaction takes place between the men who were supposedly supposed to be competing for the number one spot at Liverpool.

Sakho's return comes as the club are on the verge of completing a deal for Southampton's Dejan Lovren, a left-sided central defender who's been Brendan Rodgers' top defensive target all summer. The arrival of Lovren gives Liverpool four center-backs competing directly with one another for two starting spots--Martin Skrtel was the mainstay last season, with Daniel Agger and Sakho swapping starts and Kolo Toure picking up minutes when injury ruled out the latter duo. There's potential for some serious intra-squad battles between proven internationals here, and if the club manage to hold onto all four through the summer, it'll be fascinating to watch.

Tomorrow's fixture against Olympiacos will come too soon, but Mignolet and Sakho could play a part when Liverpool travel back to the east coast for their final two matches of the US tour against Manchester City and AC Milan.