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Liverpool's Rhian Brewster and Harry Wilson shine plus what else we learned from side's US tour loss to Dortmund

Chris Bascombe
Rhian Brewster continued his record of scoring in every summer friendly so far. - AFP

Liverpool opened their US tour with a 3-2 defeat to Jurgen Klopp's former Borussia Dortmund side. There were still signs of encouragement despite the scoreline as Chris Bascombe found. 

Brewster scores again

He was only on the pitch for the final 30 minutes, at which point his side were 3-1 down to Borussia Dortmund, but Rhian Brewster continued his record of scoring in every summer friendly so far.

It was a penalty this time, but don’t let that diminish the strike. Demanding the ball he stepped up and placed it in what is commonly referred to as ‘the postage stamp’ in the top right-hand corner. As another example of the confidence and exuberance of youth it was reassuring to Jurgen Klopp.

The teenager continues to impress and has that healthy habit of looking like his mere presence will guarantee goals. 

With Divock Origi also looking sharp, it is not difficult to see why Klopp feels well equipped in his forward options, even if he laments the ongoing absence of his front three. It is an exciting prospect seeing how the teenager links up in a full strength, match sharp line-up this season.

Brewster has that healthy habit of looking like his mere presence will guarantee goals.  Credit: Getty Images

Harry Wilson has put himself in the shop window… but at what level?

The Wales winger will be realistic about his prospects this season. After an encouraging year on loan at Derby County, returning to Anfield and wondering if there is an injury crisis to secure him a place on the bench will not serve his career.

The question is whether Liverpool can secure a good price, or he will go on loan again? If so, at what level?  Wilson struggled early on, missing an early chance to equalise after Liverpool conceded a sloppy opening goal, but he combined with Ryan Kent to strike clinically before half-time.

Wilson’s best quality is his finishing. His struggle to influence in a deeper position suggests he may be more of poacher than a creative attacker. In general play, Ryan Kent – on loan at Rangers last season – was more eye-catching. There will be queue for their services over the coming weeks but the Scottish league or championship still look their natural home at this stage.

Wilson’s best quality is his finishing Credit: AFP

Teenage left back making an impression

Algerian-born left back Yasser Larouci has acquitted himself well in all the pre-season games, the 18-year-old hoping to show he can save Liverpool the bother of buying a back-up to Andy Robertson. Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho was an opponent of some repute, but struggled to get the better of the young defender. Sadly, a mistake just before the hour – fatigue evidently playing a role – gifted Dortmund their third before Liverpool mass substitutions. That blemish was a shame as Larouci was impressive until then.

“Our young full back, and 18-year-old, did really well against one of the big talents in European football,” said Klopp.

If Liverpool make one more signing in this window it is likely to be a versatile left footer. It may be a year or two too soon for Larouci to stake his claim, but that error aside he has enhanced his chances so far demonstrating pace and strength. He even earned himself a booking from an over-enthusiastic US referee, which served only to underline the determination of the teenager to take his chance.

Larouci was a member of Liverpool’s FA Youth Cup winning team last season and is enjoying his promotion, however temporary it may be.

Larouci was a member of Liverpool’s FA Youth Cup winning team last season Credit: Getty Images

Lallana’s fortune has not changed yet

“He just needs a change of luck,” said Jurgen Klopp on Adam Lallana’s huge year ahead.

A couple of games in the experiment of being number six and another injury ruled him out of the first tour match against Borussia Dortmund. This time a dead leg – nothing major it was stressed – was responsible. 

Those yet to be convinced by Klopp’s determination to revive Lallana’s Anfield career let out a collective sigh. Those desperate to see Lallana’s skills add another dimension to the Liverpool midfield were no less disappointed.

Regardless of what the cynics say or think, if fit, Lallana will continue to get his opportunities. Likewise, these setbacks – trivial as they are in pre-season – cannot persist if the former England midfielder is to win another contract, this being the final year of his current deal.

Klopp not enamoured with idea of turning American football pitches into ‘soccer’ venues

The parameters of the pitch in the Notre Dame stadium gave the impression liberties had been taken with measurements. When a short corner would just about reach the six-yard box, something has gone wrong. Suffice to say, it was not a night for wide men. In fact, the surface in general was not conducive to quick, technical football.

“Not a soccer pitch. Difficult,” said Klopp. “These teams can play much better football but an important part of the game is the ball rolls. That is not how football should look.

“I don’t like what I see in a game in pre-season but I know the reason for it. I am not over the moon but I know there is a lot to come.”

It was not a night for wide men at the Notre Dame stadium Credit: Getty Images

Liverpool were uncharacteristically poor in defence, although for perspective they conceded two when their most exhausted line-up was facing 11 fresh substitutes in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

“That was the decider. Dortmund are a step further in their preparation than we are. The goals were not too cool, of course,” said Klopp.

“How we conceded was lack of organisation which happens when you change the team a lot. It will be better. It has to be and will be. A lot of things I did like and did not like.”

On the plus side, five senior players made their first appearance, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Gini Wijnaldum putting the first of many thousand match miles in their legs.