Eight Liverpool youngsters promoted to Klopp’s first team amid injury crisis

Jurgen Klopp gave eight academy stars the chance to impress during training this week as the Liverpool manager attempts to solve his ongoing injury crisis.

First-choice defensive duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez face lengthy spells on the sidelines after picking up injuries, while versatile midfielder Fabinho is continuing his road to recovery.

And the Reds' suffered another blow ahead of their crunch Premier League clash with Leicester this weekend, following the news that Mo Salah returned a third positive coronavirus test while on duty with Egypt.

The Liverpool striker now faces a race to be ready for the Champions League Group match with Atalanta next week and could also be a doubt for the trip to Brighton the following Saturday.

The majority of Klopp's squad are on international duty, which has allowed the manager to take a closer look at up-and-coming academy stars.

Liverpool's first-team squad trained for the first time at their £50million state-of-the-art AXA Training Centre this week and there were plenty of unfamiliar faces.

Among the young group were young goalkeepers Vitezslav Jaros, Marcelo Pitaluga and Jakub Ojrzynski.

With Rhys Williams, who has stepped in to deputise for Van Dijk this season, believed to have picked up a knock while on England U21s duty, 18-year-old defender Billy Koumetio was also given a chance to impress Klopp.

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It's been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp's men.

They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.

Virgil van Dijk's season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson's injury worries too.

But there's no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.

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Midfield pair Jake Cain and Leighton Clarkson – both highly rated at Anfield – also worked with first-team stars including James Milner.

And attacking pair Paul Glatzel and Luis Longstaff, who may sense an opportunity during Salah's absence, completed the group of eight youngsters.

Klopp certainly faces a selection headache ahead of the Leicester clash, after Gomez picked up a potentially serious injury on England duty.

The centre-back is set to join Van Dijk and Fabinho on the sidelines leaving manager Klopp with a huge shortage at the back.

The Reds are also without right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold for the next few weeks with a calf injury leaving Andy Robertson as the only member of Klopp’s first-choice back four available for action.

Neco Williams is set to step in for Alexander-Arnold, with Joel Matip emerging as the most senior centre-back.

Nathaniel Phillips, back from his loan spell at Stuttgart last season, is next in line after staying put at the club over the summer.

He is likely to partner Matip in Premier League action with Andy Robertson at left-back.

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