Forgotten Liverpool debutant called up to training by Arne Slot after transfer interest

Harvey Blair and Kaide Gordon of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on July 07, 2024 in Kirkby, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)Harvey Blair and Kaide Gordon of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on July 07, 2024 in Kirkby, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Harvey Blair and Kaide Gordon of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on July 07, 2024 in Kirkby, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images) | Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Liverpool are coming to the end of their first week of pre-season under new head coach Arne Slot.

It’s been a positive start to Arne Slot’s first pre-season at Liverpool.

Despite the new head coach being bereft of first-team players because of Euro 2024 and the Copa America, the noises coming out of the club are that Slot has made a good early impression.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Having been back for the best part of a week, Slot has had a chance to have a decent look at Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Jarell Quansah, Kostas Tsimikas, the returning Fabio Carvalho and goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.

Of course, the Dutchman will be desperate to get more of his senior squad members back with Mo Salah and Wataru Endo due back today. But in the meantime to supplement sessions, Slot will continue turning to the youngsters - many of who are already well-known to supporters. And it is a chance for the fledgling talents to try to thrust their way into Slot’s plans ahead of the upcoming season.

Ben Doak was regarded as a first-team squad member last season, with injury ruling him out of action after December. The winger is electric and would have been at the Euros with Scotland if not for suffering a fresh setback.

Jayden Danns made an outstanding impact when coming off the bench in the Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea and scoring twice in a 3-0 FA Cup win over Southampton. That was the same game Lewis Koumas netted on his debut.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bobby Clark and James McConnell also featured in the famous Carabao Cup win, with the former also making a full Premier League debut in a dramatic 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest.

Meanwhile, Kaide Gordon became Liverpool's youngest FA Cup scorer aged 17 years and 93 days when netting against Shrewsbury Town in January 2022. He missed the entire 2022-23 season and was managed carefully last term. The winger will be hoping to kick on.

Luke Chambers enjoyed an excellent loan spell at Wigan during the second half of the campaign, while Owen Beck impressed at Dundee.

Meanwhile, Trey Nyoni was handed a debut aged 16 and Amara Nallo was on the bench for a 1-1 draw against Premier League champions Manchester City.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In addition, the likes of Dominic Corness, Luca Stephenson, Tom Hill, James Norris and Michael Morrison were involved.

And forgotten name also involved was Harvey Blair. It came as a shock when the forward was handed a debut in a Carabao Cup fourth-round tie against Preston North End in October 2021. Blair was a relatively unknown name in the academy ranks.

Yet with Liverpool short of attacking options, Jurgen Klopp called on the 18-year-old. He featured for 55 minutes in the 2-0 win at Deepdale after some words of encouragement from former vice-captain James Milner. He told Blair: “Be yourself, express yourself because I know how good you are. Do everything you've been doing in training with us.”

Blair netted 14 goals in all competitions that campaign while he scored five goals in 18 games in 2022-23.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That led to the Huddersfield-born attacker being linked with a loan switch last summer. Portsmouth, Leyton Orient and Aberdeen were named as potential suitors. However, a serious knee injury sustained in pre-season ruled that opportunity out. Blair made a brief comeback in December before suffering another setback. He then made four substitute outings towards the end of the campaign.

What this summer holds for Blair is now intriguing. In terms of attacking options, he finds himself behind the likes of Doak, Danns, Koumas and Gordon when it comes to the battle to break into Slot’s regular set-up.

Firstly, getting fully up to speed will be Blair’s aim given his fitness issues. But as the summer progresses, the opportunity of heading out on loan could open up.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.