Klopp praises young talent after thrashing Blackburn in friendly

The Reds coach singled out a number of academy products following a solid hit out for his side

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise upon the club’s younger players who stepped up in a 6-0 friendly win over Blackburn. 

With the Reds preparing for the Premier League’s imminent return, they got the chance to sharpen up against Championship opposition. 

While Arsenal fell to a surprise 3-2 defeat against Brentford, there was no such slip up for Liverpool as they fired freely in front of goal. 

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Leighton Clarkson, 18, bagged the Reds final goal in the comfortable win, with Klopp happy to see the club’s younger player showing their quality. 

“It is just so nice. Not only the goal, but when you see the situations when he came on, I think the first pass was between the two strikers, he got it in the No.6 position where he is calm, turns and passes the ball out,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website of Clarkson’s goal.

“We can teach the boys a lot, but they have to bring a lot. Obviously the basis for Leighton is not too bad and Jake [Cain] did really well, as well. All of the boys.

“For Sepp [Van den Berg] it is always hard for centre-halves. We have four, so sitting outside [but] he looks really promising in training sessions. Ki-Jana, centre-half and right-back and looks really good.

“You see them – when Harvey [Elliott], Curtis [Jones] and Neco [Williams] played, it looked good as well. It’s coming, it’s nice and nice they are here and training with us.

“The way we play helps the players to feel safe; everybody is defending and you should never feel alone in a big area where you have no chance to sort the situation. That’s what I really like and for the boys it was really good.” 

— Liverpool FC (at 🏠) (@LFC) June 11, 2020

Following such a long break in play due to the coronavirus pandemic, Klopp felt the friendly was crucial ahead of Liverpool’s competitive return against Everton on June 21. 

“It was not only a workout; for us, it was a really important test and we wanted the players to go for 45 minutes [but] because of a few little issues we couldn’t do that, so we didn’t have enough ‘first-team players’, I would say, so that’s why we decided to let three players go for 60 minutes,” he said.

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“That’s ok. It looked really good, obviously. It looked really good, pretty much from the beginning. Yes, you have to get used again to playing against a deep-defending side and stuff like this.

“Blackburn had a playing build-up from time to time, so we could work on the high press as well. So [the] counter-press was brilliant, the football was really good, the goals were nice and it was a really good afternoon.

“I am really thankful that Blackburn came here and we could do that, so I wish them all the best.” 

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