Five things we learnt from Liverpool's pre-season tour
Liverpool successfully completed their pre-season with a win over Athletic Bilbao. The preparation for Jurgen Klopp's side came to an end after the Reds travelled to four countries and played eight matches in total.
The English side remained unbeaten over 90 minutes in all of the games and only lost the Audi Cup final against Atletico Madrid on penalties. There were several developments in pre-season as Klopp put the team through their paces for the start of the new season.
Let's take a look at five things we learnt from the Reds' pre-season campaign.
#1 The kids are good enough
The arrival of Klopp in October of 2016 signalled a massive chance for youngsters to not only get playing time but also improve under his tutelage. Ovie Ejaria, Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold have been around the first-team since last season. Meanwhile, Ryan Kent enjoyed a successful loan spell at Barnsley winning their Young Player of the Season award.
This pre-season marked a change, with the kids proving that they are indeed good enough to mix it with the experienced campaigners. Alexander-Arnold signed a new five-year contract this year and has grown by leaps and bounds. Nathaniel Clyne's injury meant Arnold got more playing time last time around and he is set to start the season at right-back.
Woodburn has been in the news for a while now. He played in central midfield as well as the left wing in pre-season, highlighting his versatility, and is set to become an important squad player this season. While Ejaria's future looks to be elsewhere given Liverpool's midfield options and rumoured transfer links, his present is with the Anfield outfit.
Mohamed Salah definitely bolsters the wide department but Ryan Kent is an able deputy for both Salah and Sadio Mane. Another player who has been used in central midfield and either wing, Kent is two-footed as well. The pacy winger has been at the club since the age of seven and recently signed a new contract.
Finally, Liverpool signed another Chelsea reject in Dominic Solanke and the plans to use him for the U23s might be shelved for now. Strong in the air, intelligent with the ball and possessing a penchant for being in the right place at the right time, Solanke has moved ahead of Divock Origi in the pecking order this pre-season.