Lights. Camera. Anfield. Jurgen Klopp, the Reds, the squad, the staff, anyone associated with Liverpool Football Club. The moment is finally here. After a summer of football, football and more football, it is now finally time for more football, and Anfield is waiting.
A near-perfect pre-season schedule has witnessed the Reds soar to new confidence levels, where both manager and fanbase can agree on the notion that the team have given their all ahead of another highly-anticipated season.
Klopp has undeniably drilled his men to prepare for Sunday. A home test with a new-look West Ham United may just be the exact challenge the German needs to assess where his squad are in terms of fitness, readiness, sharpness and, above all, ability. With the new signings already taking shape, the 2018/19 season looks set to be one of the most memorable in recent Liverpool history.
Goalkeeper Alisson Becker’s signature is undoubtedly the most positive news to come out of Anfield all summer, with the Brazilian shot-stopper looking like a much safer pair of hands than his predecessors. Naby Keita and Fabinho are two further promising signings, and with the injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looking worrying, the two look set to feature heavily throughout the opening months of the season. Meanwhile up front, a fully fit Daniel Sturridge may genuinely feel like a brand new signing for Klopp, and with the injury-hit forward is looking as cool as ever in pre-season, it may just be the campaign where the England man finally gets his career back up and running.
Above all, it finally seems as though Liverpool Football Club have a very strong squad of players. The starting 11 has often looked unbeatable in years gone by, yet beyond often lay inexperience, a lack of confidence, and quite worryingly a lack of ability. Liverpool’s bench may now be considered to be of a very high standard, and will look more befitting of a club in the top half of the Premier League, rather than one struggling at the bottom.
Moreover, the upcoming Premier League season brings with it the inevitable loan moves for several of the club’s youngsters, and perhaps now more than ever is one of the most exciting times to be a youth member of Liverpool. Not only is this a promising sign for these talented prospects, but it is quite simply an encouraging sign for the future of the club, primarily due to the abilities these youngsters possess.
The attacking displays of Ovie Ejaria, Ryan Kent, Ben Woodburn and Harry Wilson will all be watched closely over the coming months, with these young stars looking more likely than most to succeed at the club in the near future.
Forward Ben Woodburn, who has often featured under Klopp in various outings, will spend the season with Championship club Sheffield United, and has already managed 15 minutes with his current club having appeared as a substitute in a 2-1 loss against Swansea, where former Liverpool Under 23 teammate Yan Dhanda also appeared off the bench, however with a more lasting impact as he bagged the winner just seconds after coming on to the field.
Both Ejaria and Kent have also got their seasons underway at Rangers, where the duo both appeared as subs in manager Steven Gerrard’s debut in Scotland in a 1-1 draw at Aberdeen. Wilson, however, may certainly be the one to watch, and managed all 90 minutes under the watchful eye of Derby County’s Frank Lampard in an opening day 2-1 victory over Reading. The young Welsh star made a huge impact last season while on loan at Hull and, having impressed throughout the Liverpool youth ranks, looks set to be a huge star for Klopp’s men in the not too distant future.
All in all, nobody can quite predict what the season will bring for Liverpool. But if the last campaign is anything to go by, all supporters must be prepared to strap themselves in for the highs and the lows of what will undoubtedly be another step forward for this promising LFC generation. The red half of Liverpool patiently awaits…