With the imminent arrival of Alisson Becker, Liverpool are looking increasingly likely to challenge for the title this season.
Naby Keita and Fabinho have come in to bolster the central midfield, while Xherdan Shaqiri, formerly of relegated Stoke City, will serve as a back-up option on the wing.
The Reds have simultaneously received the devastating news that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain won’t play any part in the forthcoming campaign, though their fans will be confident they now have the strength-in-depth to manage such a hammer blow.
Pre-season has yielded relatively decent results – a 7-0 win over Chester, a 3-2 victory over Tranmere, and a goalless draw with Bury, but it has primarily been about Jurgen Klopp giving some of his squad players a run-out.
On Thursday night, the Champions League finalists headed to Blackburn.
It’s safe to say it would be a surprise if the man between the sticks – Loris Karius – made too many more first-team appearances, but there was a chance for the likes of Adam Lallana, Ben Woodburn, and Nathaniel Clyne to stake their claim for a starting berth.
For some, it went better than others. Lallana looked sharp at times and hit the woodwork with a curling shot in the first half.
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE FRINGE PLAYERS
Given the discussion surrounding who will play second fiddle to Roberto Firmino – with Dominic Solanke, and Divock Origi both in contention for that role – Liverpool fans had their eyes peeled to see how they fared.
Solanke is still only 20, but Origi is three years older than that and was supposed to have furthered his development on loan at Wolfsburg.
However, many supporters on Twitter weren’t convinced and now think it’s time for the club to count their losses:
First half proves that origi is the weakest of the front men.
Sell him on imo
— Legend Eski (@LegendEskimoBoy) July 19, 2018
Have to keep Sturridge. Sell Origi and loan Solanke. Salah can play up top too. Use Markovic as back up after Shaqiri.
— Mœ (@FutbolMoe) July 19, 2018
We should sell Origi and maybe another player to Newcastle for Lascelles in my opinion.
We need to get rid of some dead weight at the club and Lascelles is a great defender. #LFC
— Cam Priestley (@Priestley819) July 19, 2018
Liverpool need to sell Origi, he's no where near good enough for our club #LFC
— StrawHat (@Gol_D_Andrew) July 19, 2018
Origi just simply isn't good enough for Liverpool. Would love to see Rhian Brewster get some game time in the league cup and early stage of fa cup this season. Solanke is still young. Ings I expect we'll sell.
— Seán Ivory (@SeanIvory_1) July 19, 2018
Widespread reports suggest that Newcastle are interested in the striker, though selling to the Magpies could be complicated because they have to sell before they buy, as acknowledged by Rafa Benitez this week.
It was Lazar Markovic who eventually opened the scoring – not a sentence you hear very often – but there was little from Origi to suggest that this is going to be the season when he makes his mark.
The Belgian skied a decent chance and his final ball also needs work.
While it may seem harsh to write him off, the reality is that it’s going to take something very special to break into Liverpool’s formidable attack now and it may be best for all parties if Origi moves on.