Klopp heaps praise on Oxlade-Chamberlain and starlet Elliott

Jurgen Klopp heaps praise on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and starlet Harvey Elliott for testing new positions in Liverpool’s pre-season opener

  • Liverpool kicked their pre-season off with two short friendlies in one evening 
  • The Reds faced Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart at their Austria training camp 
  • Jurgen Klopp opted to play Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the false nine position 
  • The England star excelled, as did returning starlet Harvey Elliott in midfield 

Jurgen Klopp has reserved special words of praise for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Harvey Elliott, after the English duo excelled in unfamiliar positions upon their return to the Liverpool ranks.

The Reds kicked their pre-season off with two short friendlies in one evening, fielding two different teams against Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart respectively.

Klopp watched on as the matches played out at Liverpool’s Austria training camp, and monitoring closely as Oxlade-Chamberlain filled in at the false nine position usually taken by Roberto Firmino, and youngster Harvey Elliott moved into a more central midfield berth.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain caught the eye playing false nine in Liverpool’s pre-season opener

The England star is hoping to force his way back into the regular first team set-up this year

Speaking after the short matches, which each ended as a 1-1 draw, Klopp told LFCTV: ‘I don’t think Harvey had ever played that position for us, but he looked good. 

‘Ox you could see in the first few minutes immediately that it is an option, definitely. We will see how that goes on.’

A debut appearance was also handed to £35million man Ibrahima Konate, who was acquired from RB Leipzig earlier in the summer.

The Frenchman put in a solid account on his first outing in the red shirt, and Klopp was pleased with what he saw,

Harvey Elliott has also been praised by Jurgen Klopp for playing in a more central position

He added: ‘Ibou [Konate] did really well and that’s what we expected, he looks really good in training.

‘First game with all the young boys, they have really showed up in training but it is different than when you play a first-team with all the kids together in the team. 

‘It is tough, but no problem – life is tough and we have to give them the opportunity to get tested in these kinds of games. We do that and now we carry on.’

Liverpool continue their pre-season preparation when they face one of Klopp’s former teams Mainz on Friday, though the German boss has confirmed that influential defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are still unlikely to return.

Both players suffered season-ending injuries in the last campaign, and have had their comebacks painstakingly managed ever since.

Klopp added: ‘They have looked really good in training and yesterday was the first day where they did very complex things, usually it is either offensive or defensive and stuff like this.

‘We have to get there, step by step, but I don’t expect them for Friday.’

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