Jurgen Klopp praises Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and starlet Harvey Elliott for testing new positions in Liverpool’s pre-season opener
- Liverpool kicked off their preseason with two short friendlies in one night
- The Reds faced Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart at their training camp in Austria
- Jurgen Klopp chose to play Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the false nine position
- The England star excelled, as did returning starlet Harvey Elliott in midfield mid
Jurgen Klopp has reserved special praise for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Harvey Elliott, after the English duo excelled in unfamiliar positions on their return to the Liverpool ranks.
The Reds started their preseason with two short friendlies in one night, fielding two different teams against Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart respectively.
Klopp watched as the games were played at Liverpool’s training camp in Austria, closely watching Oxlade-Chamberlain take the false nine position usually taken by Roberto Firmino, and the younger Harvey Elliott to a more central midfield position moved.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stood out by playing false nine in Liverpool Liverpool pre-season opener
The England star hopes to return to the regular first-team lineup this year
After the short games, each of which ended in a 1-1 draw, Klopp told LFCTV: “I don’t think Harvey had ever played in that position for us, but he looked good.
‘Ox you could immediately see in the first minutes that it is an option, certainly. We’ll see how that goes.’
A debut appearance was also handed to £35million Ibrahima Konate, who was acquired from RB Leipzig earlier this summer.
The Frenchman set up a solid account on his first appearance in the red shirt and Klopp was pleased with what he saw,
Harvey Elliott has also been praised by Jurgen Klopp for playing in a more central position
He added: ‘Ibou [Konate] did really well and that’s what we expected, he looks really good in training.
“First game with all the young boys, they really showed up in training, but it’s different than when you play a first team with all the kids together on the team.
“It’s tough, but no problem – life is tough and we need to give them a chance to test themselves in these kinds of games. We do and now we move on.’
Liverpool will continue their preparation for the season when they face one of Klopp’s former teams Mainz on Friday, although the German boss has confirmed that influential defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are unlikely to return.
Both players suffered late-season injuries last season and have since been closely controlling their comebacks.
Klopp added: “They’ve looked really good in training and yesterday was the first day where they did very complex things, usually it’s offensive or defensive and stuff like that.
“We have to get there step by step, but I don’t expect them before Friday.”