Klopp praises Elliott and Oxlade-Chamberlain after Liverpool friendlies for performances in new positions

The Reds boss singled out the duo while also offering an update on two star centre-backs

Jurgen Klopp says Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are unlikely to feature in Friday’s preseason friendly against Mainz as the Liverpool boss singled out Harvey Elliott, Ibrahima Konate and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for their performances on Tuesday

Liverpool played two separate 30-minute friendlies against Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart, with the Reds settling for 1-1 draws in each of the two matches.

Klopp got a look at Oxlade-Chamberlain in a false nine role while starting Elliott in a more central midfield role, and the German manager said he saw positive signs from both performances.

What did Klopp say?

I don’t think Harvey had ever played that position for us, but looked good,” Klopp told  LFC TV after the game. “Ox you could see in the first few minutes immediately that it is an option, definitely. We will see how that goes on.

“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.”

Update on centre-backs

While Joel Matip made his return from injury for Liverpool, Klopp says its unlikely he’ll see two of his other key defenders make their returns this week.

Liverpool are set to face Mainz on Friday in their next preseason friendly and Klopp says that its unlikely Van Dijk and Gomez will play, even if they are very close to ready.

“It would be a surprise, to me as well,” Klopp said. “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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