Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp saw his side claim a 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers on Friday, and was pleased with what he saw from three new recruits.
The Reds got their pre-season schedule underway with Joel Matip, Loris Karius and Sadio Mane all making their debuts as Danny Ings scored the only goal of the night.
Mane impressed for 45 minutes, and Klopp was content with what he saw as he looks for his entire squad to improve their fitness levels and their chemistry on the pitch ahead of an important season.
“He was quite good so I was satisfied. It’s something like an exciting two weeks or 10 days, it took a little bit of time,” the German tactician said of Mane in his post-match press conference, as noted by ESPN FC.
“He trained a lot in this break and he did what he had to do and now he is here. [He is a] very, very nice guy to be honest and a good football player. Everybody could see in the first half, with really tired legs, he really played a good game. He could have scored of course, he could have done one of the other things a little bit better but I was fine [with him].”
Meanwhile, the 49-year-old was equally as complimentary of Matip and Karius, who will hope to play influential roles in ensuring that Liverpool are a formidable defensive unit next season.
However, he did reveal that the former had an operation last month, and expects him to improve with playing time as he continues his recovery and path towards full fitness.
“He’s a good goalkeeper and [there is] no doubt about this, that’s why we made a transfer, by the way. Second new player Joel Matip, he had a little surgery in the break. He had a screw in his ankle and they had to take it out because of an older injury, so a little bit of infection and only two weeks in training.
“You could see in the first half that he couldn’t jump, which is actually his big strength. He lost one or two headed challenges. You see in preseason, that’s OK, that’s not OK and you work on it or you ignore it, whatever. Obviously, Sadio was most impressive player in the first half for a new player because he had really good moments and played brilliantly with Roberto Firmino.”
There were some positive signs for Liverpool supporters in the victory, but ultimately, they know that it’s merely the start of a long road this year as the players gradually work their way towards being in prime condition for the kick off of the new campaign.
Klopp will need time and patience as he gives his new players a chance to settle, while it is expected that there will be more movement in the transfer market between now and the new season which will further boost their hopes of a successful year.