Sepp van den Berg

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Report: Liverpool looking to offload Dejan Lovren

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According to a report by ESPN correspondent Melissa Reddy, Liverpool is in talks to sell defender Dejan Lovren to Serie A side Roma.

The club confirmed its 23-man squad for the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea on Tuesday morning, and the 30-year-old Croatian was not among the group. The official release claims that Lovren is ill, but the ESPN report states the absence is due to an impending deal.

The report states that Roma is interested in a deal for around $18 million and that “positive negotiations” are under way. The club reportedly expects to recoup the entire $24 million fee paid to acquire Lovren from Southampton five years ago thanks to add-ons. His contract expires in the summer of 2021, having signed an extension in April of 2017.

Lovren saw his playing time sharply decline last season due to a combination of injury troubles and poor form, falling behind Joe Gomez and Joel Matip for a starting place alongside Virgil Van Dijk. Still, Lovren has been generally a regular in the squad since joining n the summer of 2014, making 170 total appearances for the club in his four seasons.

A potential sale of Lovren nonetheless would be surprising in the sense that Liverpool is somewhat thin in central defense, and the club has only brought on 17-year-old Sepp van den Berg in that position this summer. With just van Dijk, Gomez, Matip, and van den Berg on the books, offloading Lovren after the transfer deadline would leave the defending Champions League title winners vulnerable in a position they faced an injury crisis just last year. Van de Berg is reportedly highly thought of at Anfield and the club could be clearing a path for the Dutch youngster, while Fabinho deputized at center-back out of necessity last season and could be an option again if needed.

Complete list of Premier League summer transfers

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
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Here are all the names that have moved into, out of, and between the clubs of the Premier League this season.

[ MORE: PL transfer grades ]


Arsenal

In
Gabriel Martinelli (Ituano) Undisclosed
Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid) Loan
William Saliba (Saint-Etienne) Undisclosed
Nicolas Pepe (Lille) Undisclosed
Kieran Tierney (Celtic) Undisclosed
David Luiz (Chelsea) Undisclosed

Out
Aaron Ramsey (Juventus) Free
Petr Cech (Retired)
Danny Welbeck (Watford) Free
Cohen Bramall (Colchester) Free
Charlie Gilmour (Norwich) Free
Stephan Lichtsteiner (Released)
Julio Pleguezuelo (Released) 
Jordi Osei-Tutu (Bochum) Loan
Daniel Ballard (Swindon Town) Loan 
David Ospina (Napoli) Undisclosed 
Vontae Daley-Campbell (Leicester) Undisclosed 
Ben Sheaf (Doncaster Rovers) Loan
William Saliba (Saint-Etienne) Loan
Xavier Amaechi (Hamburg) Undisclosed
Krystian Bielik (Derby County) Undisclosed
Takuma Asano (Partizan Belgrade) 
Laurent Koscielny (Bordeaux)
Carl Jenkinson (Nottingham Forest) Undisclosed
Dominic Thompson (Brentford) Undisclosed
Eddie Nketiah (Leeds United) Loan
Alex Iwobi (Everton) Undisclosed

Aston Villa

In
Jota (Birmingham) Undisclosed
Anwar El Ghazi (Lille) Undisclosed
Wesley (Club Brugge) Undisclosed
Kortney Hause (Wolves) Undisclosed
Matt Targett (Southampton) Undisclosed
Tyrone Mings (AFC Bournemouth) Undisclosed 
Ezri Konsa (Brentford) Undisclosed
Bjorn Engels (Stade Reims) Undisclosed
Trezeguet (Kasimpasa) Undisclosed
Douglas Luiz (Man City) Undisclosed
Tom Heaton (Burnley) Undisclosed 
Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge) Undisclosed 

Out
Albert Adomah (Released)
Mark Bunn (Released)
Ritchie De Laet (Released)
Tommy Elphick (Huddersfield Town)
Alan Hutton (Released)
Mile Jedinak (Released)
Ross McCormack
Micah Richards (Released)
Glenn Whelan (Released)
Gary Gardner (Birmingham) Undisclosed 
Matija Sarkic (Livingston) Loan 
Jake Doyle-Hayes (Cheltenham Town) Loan 
Andre Green (Preston North End) Loan
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (Tranmere Rovers) Loan
Scott Hogan (Stoke City) Loan
Birkir Bjarnason (Released)
James Bree (Luton Town) Loan

AFC Bournemouth

In
Lloyd Kelly (Bristol City)
Jack Stacey (Luton Town) Undisclosed
Philip Billing (Huddersfield Town) Undisclosed 
Arnaut Danjuma (Club Brugge) Undisclosed 
Harry Wilson (Liverpool) Loan

Out
Marc Pugh (Released)
Mikael Ndjoli (Gillingham) Loan
Emerson Hyndman (Atlanta United) Loan
Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Connor Mahoney (Millwall) Undisclosed
Lys Mousset (Sheffield United) Undisclosed
Brad Smith (Seattle Sounders) Loan 
Sam Surridge (Swansea City) Loan 
Harry Arter (Fulham) Loan

Brighton & Hove Albion

In
Matt Clarke (Portsmouth) Undisclosed
Leandro Trossard (Genk) Undisclosed
Taylor Richards (Man City) Undisclosed
Lewis Freestone (Unattached) Free
Adam Webster (Bristol City) Undisclosed
Neal Maupay (Brentford) Undisclosed
Romaric Yapi (PSG) Undisclosed
Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) Loan

Out
Bruno (Retired)
Will Collar (Hamilton Academical) Undisclosed
Alexis MacAllister (Boca Juniors) Loan
Ben White (Leeds United) Loan
Ales Mateju (Brescia Calcio) Undisclosed 
Leo Ostigard (FC St Pauli) Loan 
Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) Loan
Christian Walton (Blackburn) Loan
Jayson Molumby (Millwall) Loan
Robert Sanchez (Rochdale) Loan
Jan Mlakar (QPR) Loan
Viktor Gyokeres (St Pauli) Loan
Percy Tau (Club Brugge) Loan
Markus Suttner (Fortuna Dusseldorf) Undisclosed
Matt Clarke (Derby County) Loan

Burnley

In
Erik Pieters (Stoke City) Undisclosed
Joel Senior (Curzon Ashton) Undisclosed
Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion) Undisclosed 
Ryan Cooney (Bury) Undisclosed
Adan Phillips (Free)
Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Leeds United) Undisclosed
Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea) Loan

Out
Jon Walters (Retired)
Stephen Ward (Stoke) Free 
Anders Lindegaard (Released)
Peter Crouch (Released) Retired
Mark Howarth (Released)
Tom Heaton (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Nahki Wells (QPR) Loan

Chelsea

In
Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid) Undisclosed

Out
Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace) Free
Fankaty Dabo (Coventry City) Free
Rob Green (Retired)
Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) Undisclosed
Todd Kane (Released)
Ola Aina (Torino) Undisclosed
Nathan Baxter (Ross County) Loan
Richard Nartey (Burton Albion) Loan
Jay Dasilva (Bristol City) Undisclosed
Eduardo (Released)
Kyle Scott (Released)
Tomas Kalas (Bristol City) Undisclosed 
Mario Pasalic (Atalanta) Loan 
Charly Musonda (Vitesse Arnhem) Loan 
Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid) Undisclosed
Nathan (Atletico Mineiro) Loan 
Daishawn Redan (Hertha Berlin) Loan
Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig) Loan
Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City) Loan
Matt Miazga (Reading) Loan
Lewis Baker (Fortuna Dusseldorf) Loan
Kasey Palmer (Bristol City) Undisclosed
Dujon Sterling (Wigan Athletic) Loan
Conor Gallagher (Charlton Athletic) Loan 
Jacob Maddox (Tranmere Rovers) Loan
Trevoh Chalobah (Huddersfield Town) Loan
Danny Drinkwater (Burnley) Loan
Josh Grant (Plymouth) Loan
Izzy Brown (Luton Town) Loan

Crystal Palace

In
Stephen Henderson (Free) 
Jordan Ayew (Swansea City) Undisclosed
Gary Cahill (Unattached) Free 
Victor Camarasa (Real Betis) Loan 
James McCarthy (Everton) Undisclosed

Out
Jason Puncheon (Released)
Julian Speroni (Released) 
Bakary Sako (Denizlispor) Free
Ollie O’Dwyer (Aldershot) Free
Joseph Hungbo (Released)
Tyler Brown (Released)
Levi Lumeka (Varzim) Undisclosed
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Man Utd) Undisclosed
Alexander Sorloth (Trabzonspor) Loan 
Pape Souare (Troyes) Free

Everton

In 
Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield Town) Free
Andre Gomes (Barcelona) £22m 
Fabian Delph (Man City) Undisclosed
Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Mainz) Undisclosed 
Moise Kean (Juventus) Undisclosed
Djibril Sidibe (Monaco) Loan
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) Undisclosed

Out
Phil Jagielka (Sheffield Utd) Free
Ashley Williams (Released)
Harry Charsley (Released)
Boris Mathis (Released)
Mateusz Hewelt (Released)
Shayne Lavery (Released)
Jack Kiersey (Released)
Danny Bramall (Released)
Joe Hilton (Released)
Chris Renshaw (Released)
Jonjoe Kenny (Schalke) Loan
Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow) Undisclosed
Sandro Ramirez (Real Valladolid) Loan
Brendan Galloway (Luton Town) Free
Korede Adedoyin (Hamilton Academical) Loan
Kieran Dowell (Derby) Loan
Joao Virginia (Reading) Loan
Luke Garbutt (Ipswich) Loan 
Antonee Robinson (Wigan) Undisclosed 
Josh Bowler (Hull) Loan 
Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig) Undisclosed 
Idrissa Gueye (Paris Saint-Germain) Undisclosed
Joe Williams (Wigan Athletic) Undisclosed
Nathan Broadhead (Burton Albion) Loan 
James McCarthy (Crystal Palace) Undisclosed
Matthew Pennington (Hull City) Loan

Leicester City

In 
James Justin (Luton Town) Undisclosed
Ayoze Perez (Newcastle United) Undisclosed 
Vontae Daley-Campbell (Arsenal) Undisclosed 
George Hirst (OH Leuvens) Undisclosed 
Ali Reghba (Bohemians) Undisclosed
Youri Tielemans (Monaco) Undisclosed
Mitchell Clark (Free)

Out
Shinji Okazaki (Malaga) Free
Danny Simpson (Released)
Daniel Iversen (Rotherham United) Loan
Elliot Moore (Oxford United) Undisclosed
Josh Knight (Peterborough United) Loan
Ryan Loft (Carlisle United) Loan
Harry Maguire (Man Utd) Undisclosed
Layton Ndukwu (Southend United) Loan
Callum Elder (Hull City) Undisclosed

Liverpool

In 
Sepp van den Berg (PEC Zwolle) Undisclosed
Harvey Elliott (Fulham) Undisclosed
Adrian (Unattached) Free

Out
Alberto Moreno (Villarreal) Free
Daniel Sturridge (Released)
Connor Randall (Released)
Adam Bogdan (Released)
Sheyi Ojo (Rangers) Loan
Rafael Camacho (Sporting)
Marko Grujic (Hertha BSC) Loan
Danny Ings (Southampton) Undisclosed
Allan Rodrigues de Souza (Fluminense) Loan 
Kamil Grabara (Huddersfield Town) Loan
Ben Woodburn (Oxford United) Loan
Rhys Williams (Kidderminster Harriers) Loan
Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge) Undisclosed 
Taiwo Awoniyi (Mainz) Loan
Liam Millar (Kilmarnock) Loan 
Harry Wilson (AFC Bournemouth) Loan
Nathaniel Phillips (Stuttgart) Loan 
George Johnston (Feyenoord) Undisclosed
Ovie Ejaria (Reading) Loan

Manchester City

In
Angelino (PSV Eindhoven) Undisclosed
Rodri (Atletico Madrid) Undisclosed 
Joao Cancelo (Juventus) Undisclosed 
Scott Carson (Derby County) Loan

Out
Vincent Kompany (Anderlecht) Free
Patrick Roberts (Norwich City) Loan
Tom Dele-Bashiru (Watford) Free
Aaron Nemane (Released)
Jack Harrison (Leeds United) Loan
Aro Muric (Nottingham Forest) Loan
Zack Steffen (Fortuna Dusseldorf) Loan 
Fabian Delph (Everton) Undisclosed 
Philippe Sandler (Anderlecht) Loan
Taylor Richards (Brighton) Undisclosed
Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Yangel Herrera (Granada) Loan
Tosin Adarabioyo (Blackburn Rovers) Loan 
Danilo (Juventus) Undisclosed 

Manchester United

In
Daniel James (Swansea City) Undisclosed
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace) Undisclosed
Harry Maguire (Leicester City) Undisclosed

Out
Ander Herrera (PSG) Free 
Antonio Valencia (Released)
Matthew Olosunde (Released)
James Wilson (Released)
Regan Poole (Released)
Kieran O'Hara (Burton Albion) Loan
Dean Henderson (Sheffield United) Loan
Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) Undisclosed 

Newcastle United

In
Joelinton (Hoffenheim) Undisclosed
Kyle Scott (Unattached) Free
Jake Turner (Bolton Wanderers) Undisclosed
Jetro Willems (Eintracht Frankfurt) Loan
Allan Saint-Maximin (Nice) Undisclosed
Emil Krafth (Amiens) Undisclosed
Andy Carroll (Free) 

Out
Mohamed Diame (Released) 
Cal Roberts (Released) 
Josef Yarney (Released)
Tyrique Bartlett (Released)
Dan Barlaser (Rotherham United) Loan
Ayoze Perez (Leicester City) Undisclosed
Joselu (Alaves) Undisclosed
Liam Gibson (Grimsby Town) Loan
Freddie Woodman (Swansea City) Loan
Nathan Harker (Blyth Spartans) Loan
Jacob Murphy (Sheffield Wednesday) Loan

Norwich City

In 
Patrick Roberts (Man City) Loan
Daniel Adshead (Rochdale) Undisclosed
Josip Drmic (Borussia Monchengladbach) Free 
Archie Mair (Aberdeen) Undisclosed
Rob Nizet (Anderlecht) Undisclosed
Rocky Bushiri (K.V. Oostende) Undisclosed 
Aidan Fitzpatrick (Partick Thistle) Undisclosed 
Ralf Fahrmann (Schalke) Undisclosed
Charlie Gilmour (Arsenal) Free
Sam Byram (West Ham) Undisclosed
Reece McAlear (Motherwell) Undisclosed
Ibrahim Amadou (Sevilla) Loan

Out 
Carlton Morris (Rotherham United) Loan
Mason Bloomfield (Crawley Town) Loan
Ciaren Jones (Eastbourne Borough) Loan
Josh Coley (Dunfermline Athletic) Loan
Marcel Franke (Hannover 96) Undisclosed
Sean Raggett (Portsmouth) Loan
Nelson Oliveira (AEK Athens)
Savvas Mourgos (Dordrecht) Loan
James Husband (Blackpool) Loan
Ben Marshall (Released) 
Rocky Bushiri (Blackpool) Loan
Diallang Jaiyesimi (Swindon Town) Loan
Aston Oxborough (Wealdstone) Loan

Sheffield United

In
Luke Freeman (QPR) Undisclosed
Phil Jagielka (Everton) Free
Callum Robinson (Preston) Undisclosed
Ravel Morrison Free
Lys Mousset (AFC Bournemouth) Undisclosed
Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest) Undisclosed
Dean Henderson (Manchester United) Loan
Oli McBurnie (Swansea City) Undisclosed
Michael Verrips (Free)

Out 
Paul Coutts (Released)
Martin Cranie (Released)
Conor Washington (Released)
Daniel Lafferty (Released)
Caolan Lavery (Released)
Nathan Thomas (Gillingham) Loan
Rhys Norrington-Davies (Rochdale) Loan 
Jake Eastwood (Scunthorpe) Loan 
Oliver Greaves (Barrow AFC) Loan
Tyler Smith (Bristol Rovers) Loan
Nathan Thomas (Carlisle United) Loan
Regan Slater (Scunthorpe United) Loan
Ched Evans (Fleetwood Town) Undisclosed
Mark Duffy (Stoke City) Loan

Southampton

In
Moussa Djenepo (Standard Liege) Undisclosed
Che Adams (Birmingham City) Undisclosed
Danny Ings (Liverpool) Undisclosed
Tommy Scott (Yeovil Town) Undisclosed

Out
Steven Davis (Rangers) Free
Matt Targett (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Alfie Jones (Gillingham) Loan
Jack Rose (Walsall) Loan
Kingsley Latham (Havant and Waterlooville) Loan
Alex Cull (Totton) Loan
Harry Hamblin (Bath City) Loan
Jordy Clasie (AZ Alkmaar) Undisclosed
Tyreke Johnson (Woking) Loan 
Josh Sims (New York Red Bulls) Loan 
Charlie Austin (West Brom) Undisclosed
Harrison Reed (Fulham) Loan

Tottenham Hotspur

In
Kion Etete (Notts County) Undisclosed
Jack Clarke (Leeds) Undisclosed
Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon) Undisclosed
Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis) Loan 
Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham) Undisclosed 

Out 
Michel Vorm (Released)
Dylan Duncan (Released)
Charlie Freeman (Released)
Tom Glover (Released)
Connor Ogilvie (Released)
Jamie Reynolds (Released)
Luke Amos (QPR) Loan
Jack Clarke (Leeds) Loan 
Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid)
Vincent Janssen (Monterrey) Undisclosed 
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Stoke) Loan
Josh Onomah (Fulham) Undisclosed

Watford

In 
Bayli Spencer-Adams (Free)
Craig Dawson (West Brom) Undisclosed
Tom Dele-Bashiru (Free)
Mason Barrett (West Ham) Undisclosed
Callum Whelan (Free) 
Danny Welbeck (Free) 
Ismaila Sarr (Rennes) Undisclosed 

Out
Obbi Oulare (Standard Liege) Undisclosed
Miguel Britos (Released)
Tommie Hoban (Released)
Jerome Sinclair (Venlo) Loan 
Michael Folivi (AFC Wimbledon) Loan 
Marc Navarro (Leganes) Loan
Ben Wilmot (Swansea City) Loan
Alex Jakubiak (Gillingham) Loan
Dodi Lukebakio (Hertha BSC) Undisclosed

West Ham United

In
Roberto (Espanyol) Free
David Martin (Millwall) Free
Pablo Fornals (Villarreal) Undisclosed
Sebastien Haller (Eintracht Frankfurt) Undisclosed
Goncalo Cardoso (Boavista) Undisclosed 
Albian Ajeti (FC Basel) Undisclosed

Out 
Adrian (Liverpool) Free
Andy Carroll (Newcastle) Free
Samir Nasri (Released)
Toni Martinez (Released)
Moses Makasi (Released) 
Lucas Perez (Alaves) Undisclosed
Noha Sylvestre (Released)
Vashon Neufville (Released)
Josh Pask (Coventry City) Free
Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz) Undisclosed
Nathan Trott (AFC Wimbledon) Loan 
Martin Samuelsen (FK Haugesund) Loan
Marko Arnautovic (Shanghai SIPG) Undisclosed
Sam Byram (Norwich City) Undisclosed 
Pedro Obiang (Sassuolo) Undisclosed
Marcus Browne (Middlesbrough) Undisclosed
Jordan Hugill (QPR) Loan
Reece Oxford (Augsburg) Undisclosed
Mason Barrett (Watford) Undisclosed
Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic) Loan
Grady Diangana (West Brom) Loan

Wolverhampton Wanderers

In
Raul Jimenez (Benfica) Undisclosed
Hong (Yeovil Town) Undisclosed
Raphael Nya (PSG) Undisclosed
Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht) Undisclosed
Tsun Dai (Oxford United) Undisclosed
Jesus Vallejo (Real Madrid) Loan
Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan) Undisclosed
Flavio Cristovao Free
Pedro Neto (Braga) Undisclosed
Bruno Jordao (Braga) Undisclosed
Renat Dadashov (Estoril) Undisclosed

Out 
Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Shrewsbury Town) Undisclosed
Michal Zyro (Released)
Carlos Heredia (Released)
Ben Goodliffe (Released)
Aaron Hayden (Released)
Diego Lattie (Released)
Enzo Sauvage (Released)
Christian Herc (Viktoria Plzen) Loan
Kortney Hause (Aston Villa) Undisclosed
Ryan Giles (Shrewsbury Town) Loan
Pedro Goncalves (FC Famalicao) Undisclosed
Joao Dias (FC Famalicao) Undisclosed
Helder Costa (Leeds) Loan
Ryan Leak (Burgos) Undisclosed
Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) Loan
Rafa Mir (Nottingham Forest) Loan
Will Norris (Ipswich Town) Loan
Niall Ennis (Doncaster Rovers) Loan
Cameron John (Doncaster Rovers) Loan
Renat Dadashov (Pacos de Ferreira) Loan
Bright Enobakhare (Wigan) Loan

Did Liverpool need to spend more this summer?

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After coming one point away from the Premier League title and winning the UEFA Champions League for a sixth time in club history, Liverpool did something few people expected.

It had a quiet summer.

To date, Liverpool has only signed a pair of teenagers, Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliot, along with goalkeeper Adrian on a free transfer, to add to the squad. That’s instead of getting involved with the likes of Manchester City, Man United and Arsenal in making big-money transfers over the summer to bolster what’s already a strong team.

Earlier in the summer, manager Jurgen Klopp warned to Liverpool fans to not expect much this summer, even when rumors were swirling that Philippe Coutinho could make a sensational return to Anfield.

“…it will not be the biggest transfer window of LFC; we invested a lot in the team in the last two years, I would say, Klopp told Liverpool’s website on July 17. “We cannot spend every year in the same manner.

“People talk about it like, ‘Now another £300m or £200m’. There are maybe only two clubs in the world – it looks in the moment like Barcelona and [Real] Madrid can do the same – City and PSG that can do it every year.

“But we are fine. I’m happy with the team, we are really happy. We have to see if we find maybe one position, if we find something for it, but there’s no real pressure because it’s not about signing a player. We have solutions for all the situations.”

In a way, Klopp is correct. Liverpool has spent quite a bit in the transfer market, especially with the signings of defender Virgil Van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson Becker. Then again, the club were basically able to finance those purchases with the sale of the aforementioned Coutinho to Barcelona. In addition, the club earned more than $100 million last season between Premier League and UEFA Champions League rewards and television money.

But there is precedent that Liverpool’s strategy this summer isn’t a bad one.

The closest example is also the most recent. Tottenham went an entire calendar year, two transfer windows, without adding to their squad. Sure, they didn’t win the Premier League but they made the Champions League Final and still qualified for next year’s Champions League.

In another example from two seasons ago, Real Madrid didn’t make any major signings on its way to winning the 2018 Champions League title.

If you think about it, Liverpool certainly could have won the Premier League last season. If not for two dropped points at Man United, it may have been a double for the Reds. So why improve the squad when there’s no need to improve?

If everyone returns to peak form and fires on all cylinders, there’s no reason why this squad can’t push Man City again and make a deep Champions League run. Plus, with new contracts given over the past year to Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson, and Divock Origi, the players are as motivated as ever to improve.

So should Liverpool have spent more this summer? Maybe. But maybe they have everything they already need.

Klopp explains poor preseason; stars set to return

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Jurgen Klopp was not a happy bunny when speaking to reporters on Monday.

“Have we had the best preseason of our lives? I cannot say that with the results but the sessions were really good.”

Liverpool’s boss bristled when a journalist the FA Community Shield was called a “curtain-raiser” for the new season, as a poor preseason seems to be annoying the German coach a little.

Following a 3-0 defeat to Napoli in Edinburgh on Sunday, Liverpool have now lost three of their four marquee preseason friendlies with defeats against Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla and a draw against Sporting Lisbon in the USA. They’ve conceded 10 goals in those four games.

Klopp explained why the European champions have been struggling this summer, and the reasons are rather obvious on the face of things.

“I don’t want to find excuses before we play City. But we had a completely different preseason,” Klopp said. “We played without six players and to say this must be the statement for us would be completely mad.

“Good results in the pre-season help to build confidence but that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is that you build the physical skills for a long, long season because we have to, pretty much, prepare only for the games. There’s not a lot of time to train.”

Klopp then went on to call Liverpool’s week in Evian, France as their “most important of the season” as stars return and the preparation all comes together.

“We had to do intense sessions in the first three weeks. We played the games in different circumstances,” Klopp said. “It’s always been clear Evian would be the most important week of the season, and we have five days after City before Norwich.”

Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane were involved in the Africa Cup of Nations, as the latter will return to Liverpool the week the season starts on Aug. 5. Alisson and Fabinho played for Brazil this summer in their Copa America success, while Xherdan Shaqiri has been struggling with an injury.

Given all of that, Klopp seemed a little concerned that his side could get a bit of a spanking against City on Sunday.

“It is a good test of the things that are there [in place]. We have to defend in a good way, because if you don’t defend well against City, we can get a proper knock,” Klopp added.

As for Man City, they have been without Sergio Aguero, Ederson, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez and Fernandinho throughout preseason, as Pep Guardiola‘s men will go into Sunday’s traditional curtain-raiser (sorry, Jurgen…) as the favorites.

Liverpool’s squad is able to cope with some key absentees, as we saw that last season when Divock Origi, Shaqiri and Joe Gomez stepped in when needed. But with only two teenagers signed this summer (Harvey Elliott and Sepp van den Berg), is Klopp feeling the pressure to compete with City’s incredible squad depth?

With Salah, Mane, Firmino and Alisson only just arriving back in England after a long summer of tournaments, if you’re playing Liverpool early in the Premier League season you’ll probably be quite happy about that. But long-term, Liverpool will be just fine. A summer of not having superstars around is far from ideal, but the aforementioned names will soon get back up to speed and dominate PL games.

Below is Liverpool’s full squad for their week training in Evian, France before they play Man City on Sunday in the Community Shield.

Liverpool squad: Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, Brewster, Duncan, Elliott, Fabinho, Firmino, Gomez, Henderson, Hoever, Keita, Lallana, Larouci, Lewis, Lonergan, Lovren, Matip, Mignolet, Milner, Ojrzynski, Origi, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Robertson, Salah, Shaqiri, Van den Berg, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Wilson.

Salah, Alisson and others returning to Liverpool this week

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Despite Liverpool’s poor run of results during the preseason, Jurgen Klopp says he’s not very concerned.

That’s because Liverpool, more than most other teams it seems this year, has been without a dozen key players all preseason, and others who arrived a week or two late after international duty following the Premier League season. However, that all changes on Monday.

Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, Alisson, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri are all returning to preseason work as Liverpool heads to Evian, France to continue warm-weather training. Liverpool has just a week before facing Manchester City in the FA Community Shield, and then another week before the start of the season. It’s unlikely that the quintet returning this week – with Sadio Mane set to return next week – will be ready to go for the start of the Premier League season, but it can potentially give the team a mental lift to see many of the team’s stars back in the squad for daily training sessions.

​“The lads coming back, even if they don’t play, it gives you a lift when they train and with the way they go about their business,” Liverpool left back Andy Robertson told the club’s website. “It doesn’t matter if they play on Wednesday or not, that’s completely up to the manager three days in, but that’s irrelevant: if they’re back in training and back around the place then it makes a difference.

“Mo and Bobby are two of our main men and Alisson was magnificent last season. They are huge characters in the changing room as well so that’ll be massive for us, and then Sadio will come back the following week. Once we get the whole team back together, and I think Shaq and Naby aren’t far off too, they’re players that are familiar around the set-up and around the system and that’s what we need. The quicker we get all of us back together then hopefully the better.”

Without many of the top attackers, some young players for Liverpool have been playing plenty. Aside from players like Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain building fitness, Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster have received regular minutes. In addition, new signings Harvey Elliot, who just signed officially for Liverpool in the morning, and summer signing Sepp van den Berg each saw the field against Napoli. While they likely won’t play much this Premier League season, they may be called upon to at least be on the bench early on.

Klopp referred to this preseason, with so many stars missing, as a strange one.

“It’s kind of a new situation, but that’s not the reason what’s happened,” Klopp said. “Missing six players is strange. That you lose players during a pre-season, we are used to – that happened from time to time. But that they don’t start from the beginning and come a couple of days before or after we start with the season is not cool. Again, that’s how it is and we prepared everybody as good as possible. We have to fight the start of the season 100 per cent with all we have. The good thing is, if the opponents want to analyse us now, they think ‘easy job’, but we will be a different animal next week.”