Mabaya named in Liverpool’s pre-season tour squad

Zimbabwean starlet Isaac Mabaya keeps a close eye on the Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks on during the Reds' pre-season training last week

England-born Zimbabwean teenage starlet Isaac Mabaya will have an opportunity to impress Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ahead of the new Premier League season after being named in the 37-man squad for their pre-season tour of Thailand and Singapore.

Mabaya was last weekend invited to train with the Liverpool first-team squad last week as they began their preparation for the new season.

The gifted teenager was named amongst the midfielders and will be available for selection for Liverpool’s first pre-season friendly match against Manchester United at Rajamangala Stadium on Tuesday.

Klopp’s team will then face Crystal Palace at Singapore National Stadium on Friday as they step up their preparations for 2022-23.

They are also due to face RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg in pre-season, while they will host French side Strasbourg on 31 July at Anfield.

Isaac Mabaya of Liverpool FC U19 during the UEFA Youth League quarterfinal football match against Juventus FC U19. Photo by Nicolò Campo via Getty Images

Liverpool will commence their season with the Community Shield clash against Manchester City on 30 July at Wembley, and they will start their Premier League campaign with a Saturday lunchtime trip to newly-promoted Fulham on 6 August.

The 17-year-old, who signed his first professional contract at Anfield in September, can play either in the centre of midfield or at right-back, but it is at full-back where he really shines.

He represents England at youth level — though he rejected the chance to switch to Zimbabwe earlier in the year — and is very highly-rated.

Working under Marc Bridge-Wilkinson at U18 level last season, there is a chance he could become a regular at U21 level this year with Conor Bradley having moved out on loan.

A regular in the UEFA Youth League level last season, where he filled in as a right-winger with injuries hampering Liverpool’s chances when they exited the tournament against Juventus, Mabaya has a big future ahead of him.

He has the potential to really kick on again next season, with attributes to become a really exciting full-back at Liverpool. He is better going forward than defensively, but he is also a solid performer out of possession.

He scored six times and assisted 12 goals last season, with that total of 18 goal contributions highlighting the decisiveness that he has shown in attack, and while some of those contributions came while playing in midfield, it seems likelier that his long-term position will be at full-back.

Liverpool Squad

Goalkeepers: Alisson Becker, Adrian, Harvey Davies, Fabian Mrozek

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip, Nathaniel Phillips, Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas, Sepp Van den Berg, Virgil van Dijk, Rhys Williams, Stefan Bajcetic, Luke Chambers, James Norris

Midfielders: Leighton Clarkson, Harvey Elliott, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Curtis Jones, Naby Keita, James Milner, Tyler Morton, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Thiago Alcantara, Fabio Carvalho, Melkamu Frauendorf, Thomas Hill, Isaac Mabaya

Forwards: Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah, Bobby Clark,



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