With roughly six weeks between their Champions League Final win over Tottenham Hotspur and the start of preseason, Liverpool’s squad looked far from rusty on Thursday night against Tranmere Rovers.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds kicked off the first of seven preseason matches that will take them from England to the United States to Scotland. Tranmere Rovers were first up at Prenton Park on Thursday night in what has become a nearly traditional summer friendly.
If there was any thought that the Reds squad available to Klopp would be nervy, out of sync, and unable to combine, then those were put to bed early.
Liverpool took just six minutes to open the scoring when Nathaniel Clyne got onto the scoresheet in the sixth minute.
Clyne’s goal was a simple blast from the right side of the 18-yard box. Rhian Brewster picked up the assist on what was an easy goal.
Clyne spent the second half of last season on loan at Bournemouth. Despite Liverpool not needing him this season due to Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez, having Clyne on the bench would provide further defensive cover. But is there a place for him? No, and Thursday night gave other Premier League teams a chance to look at him.
Brewster got Liverpool’s second and third within an eight-minute time span. The forward is said to have a big role ahead of him under Klopp this term. With injuries behind him, Brewster could be the next breakout academy star at Anfield.
Brewster’s first goal came after a hard cross from James Milner made its way through to Harry Wilson, who crossed it back across the six-yard box. Brewster’s header easily beat Tranmere Rovers’ goalkeeper Scott Davies.
Wilson and Ryan Kent both started on the wing in Liverpool’s 4-3-3 formation. It was great to see Wilson, who deserves a chance to play at Anfield this season. Although he could bring in a sizeable transfer fee, he could be an important backup Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Kent is expected to return to Rangers, who have the first refusal on a loan deal. However, if Liverpool decide to sell, Kent’s price tag is far too high at over £10 million for the Scottish club.
Brewster’s second goal came from more poor Tranmere Rovers’ defending. Milner’s shot from the edge of the 18-yard box was parried allowing an unmarked Brewster to redirect the ball into the back of the net.
A new Liverpool XI appeared in the second half with Divock Origi, Joel Matip, and Fabinho appearing. Despite making wholesale changes, Liverpool continued to dominate as Ben Woodburn’s cross was sent into the back of the net by Curtis Jones. The duo combined just as they had previously in the academy. Will either player have a chance at Anfield this season?
Origi then added Liverpool’s fifth and best of the net with a brilliant touch to set up the goal. Origi controlled a pass over the top of Tranmere Rovers’ defence with a touch as soft as cotton. He then manoeuvred around Tranmere Rovers’ goalkeeper for a deft finish. The goal showed just how high Origi’s confidence is. It is great to have him signed to a new long-term contract.
Liverpool youngster Bobby Duncan tallied the team’s sixth as Liverpool rolled to a 6-0 victory. The Reds’ preseason matches are set to become far more difficult after running riot over Tranmere Rover. But should we have expected anything less from the champions of Europe?
The Reds will face off with Bradford City on Sunday at Valley Parade.