Liverpool trio left out of pre-season plans ahead of likely summer transfers – Liverpool FC


Arne Slot has included a number of academy players in his squad for pre-season, but three Liverpool players are notable in their absence ahead of transfers.

With the majority of his senior players absent, Slot has put a host of youngsters through their paces in the first days of pre-season.

Nineteen academy talents have been involved, including less-regular faces such as Kieran Morrison, Luca Stephenson, Dominic Corness and James Norris.

However, there are others who are notable in their absence, including midfielder Bobby Clark, who made 12 appearances at first-team level last season.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 28, 2024: Liverpool's Bobby Clark during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 28, 2024: Liverpool's Bobby Clark during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Clark is widely considered as one of the most prominent talents in Liverpool’s ranks, but the 19-year-old has not taken part in early pre-season.

While this may be due to an injury sustained in the final weeks of last season, the teenager is also attracting interest from a range of clubs ahead of a loan move.

Salzburg, RB Leipzig and Norwich have all been touted as possible destinations, with involvement in training likely limited to avoid any fitness issues that would block any deal going through.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Friday, April 12, 2024: Liverpool's Rhys Williams celebrates after during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Manchester United FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Old Trafford. Liverpool won 3-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Friday, April 12, 2024: Liverpool's Rhys Williams celebrates after during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Manchester United FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Old Trafford. Liverpool won 3-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Two other absentees are defenders Rhys Williams and Billy Koumetio, which comes despite fewer options at centre-back so far.

With Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez all on duty at the Euros, Slot and his staff currently have Jarell Quansah, Sepp van den Berg, Nat Phillips and youngster Amara Nallo as options to consider at the heart of defence.

The decision to omit Williams, 23, and Koumetio, 21, despite their experience at senior level indicates that they have no long-term future at Anfield.

Both players took in loan spells last season, but none of those proved successful.

Williams initially joined Aberdeen on a season-long deal but saw that terminated in January due to a lack of game time, only to see his next stop at Port Vale cut short due to injury suffered days after joining.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Monday, March 6, 2023: Liverpool's Billy Koumetio during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Arsenal FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Meadow Park. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)LONDON, ENGLAND - Monday, March 6, 2023: Liverpool's Billy Koumetio during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Arsenal FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Meadow Park. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Koumetio, meanwhile, endured a reduced role with French second-tier side USL Dunkerque, before heading to Blackburn in January, where he played just once.

The likelihood is that Liverpool will entertain permanent bids for both – particularly Williams, who has two years left on his contract but has not played for the first time since 2021.

But it remains to be seen whether they will attract suitable interest given their respective struggles in recent years.

Goalkeeper Jakub Ojrzynski is another player who has not been part of pre-season so far, with the goalkeeper instead taking in a trial spell with Polish side GKS Katowice.

The likes of James Balagizi, Oakley Cannonier and Isaac Mabaya will instead be taking in their preparations at the academy.

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