Liverpool began their schedule pre-season friendlies by making the short trip to Tranmere. Jurgen Klopp gave 22 players time on the pitch as the Reds ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.
Whilst we shouldn’t read too much into pre-season friendlies, especially the first one of a summer, there are often a few things that stand out in each game.
Here are the five things I took from the Tranmere game:
Trent starts over Clyne
I attended the game with my good friend Chris Pajak of the Redmen TV and he thought nothing of Trent Alexander-Arnold starting the first half over Nathaniel Clyne, whereas I thought it was significant. The first half team looked like Klopp was picking his best side, other than the positions where the squad had a few injuries or players who have only recently returned. The only expected first team player not selected in the first half was Nathaniel Clyne with Alexander-Arnold getting the nod. It might be nothing but I saw this as an interesting choice at least.
Return of the captain
It’s been too long since we saw Jordan Henderson on the field for Liverpool. Hopefully his injury worries are now behind him. He looked pretty sharp at Tranmere, which was a good sign.
Grujic shouldn’t be a forgotten man
Marko Grujic’s injury issues last season meant he hardly had any time to impress at his new club. After a promising pre-season, we hardly saw anything from the midfielder. However, he’s clearly physically gifted and he proved at Tranmere that he has a rocket of a shot. With more games this season, we should see more of the Serbian
It was only 45 minutes against a non-league side but it was nice to see some positive signs from Dominic Solanke. The youngster lead the line well and offered Liverpool a genuine target man. His touch looked very good and his quick feet were very impressive. A nice start for the former Chelsea man.
Let Lazar go
I know it was a pre-season game but honestly, Lazar Markovic is crap! His touch is poor and he just looked a level below the rest of the squad. Liverpool paying £20million for him might be the worst piece of business in the club’s history.