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Jürgen Klopp forced to accept pre-season change as Liverpool prepare money-spinning compromise

You suspect he might have liked to hold out a little longer, but Jürgen Klopp is finally taking his Liverpool team back to the Far East this summer.

The Reds will end a five-year absence from Asia as they head to Thailand and Singapore next month to contest friendlies against Manchester United and Crystal Palace. And they are sure to be greeted by thousands of die-hard supporters making the most of a rare chance to see their heroes up close.

That element of the trip will certainly appeal to Klopp, a man who fully understands both the passion and the importance of the club’s global fanbase.

But he will no doubt also harbour concerns about the conditions that await his team during a key period of their preparations for the new campaign.

Liverpool’s last visit to the Far East saw them spend a week in Hong Kong to compete in the Premier League Asia Trophy ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Unfortunately, that trip fell foul of Southeast Asia’s monsoon season, with the heavy rain even forcing the cancellation of one training session.

lopp was also unhappy with the pitch at the Hong Kong Stadium, which represented a major injury risk for his players after bearing the brunt of the deluge.

And that is not to mention an energy-sapping humidity that made those gruelling pre-season training sessions even harder on players than they needed to be.

It is no surprise, then, that every other pre-season of the pre-Covid era under Klopp saw him take his team to the United States. A lengthy flight remained a necessity, of course, but the German believed it to be worth it for the facilities and conditions that awaited Stateside.

Still, while he hasn’t got his wish on that front this time around with a change in continent, there has at least proved to be some room for compromise.

For starters, this year’s trip to Asia will be the first undertaking of pre-season after the players return on July 4, with the flight out scheduled for just five days later.

So, while the club’s hierarchy get the commercial boost of a money-spinning visit abroad, the scheduling of the trip means Klopp is still given time to do the ‘proper’ work with his squad.

That will take place during a planned training camp in Austria, which will also be punctuated by friendly games against RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg.

Without doubt, this represents Klopp’s most treasured time of pre-season, and in fact, probably his ideal template for the entire summer were that not an unrealistic prospect in a post-pandemic world.

The return of lucrative trips across the globe was ultimately inevitable, however, and so the Liverpool manager must simply hope it doesn’t disrupt a period that tends to decide just how successful the season ahead will be.

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