Liverpool’s top stars have jetted off to soak up the sun while the club’s youngsters prepare to take to the field in the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury.
Jurgen Klopp has always insisted his youngsters will play on Tuesday night to give a break to his first-team squad as they close in on their maiden Premier League title and look to defend their Champions League crown amid a hectic fixture schedule.
And as the Liverpool kids put the final touches to their preparations ahead of the FA Cup clash, Roberto Firmino, Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Co have decided to make the most of some rare time off.
Liverpool centre-back Gomez has jetted off to sunny California, where he will be staying with his fiancee and friends in a Los Angeles mansion for the week.
Gomez’s childhood sweetheart – Tamara Tia – posted a series of videos on her Instagram story, which showed the group waiting at the airport before heading out to California and checking into their luxurious accommodation – complete with a swimming pool.
Meanwhile, Firmino has decided to soak up the sun with his family. The Brazilian posted a photo on Instagram of him enjoying a drink with his wife Larissa Pereira.
Wijnaldum is getting as much warm weather as possible too by sharing his latest adventures with his huge following on Instagram.
Alexander-Arnold posted a picture mid-flight on social media with the caption: ‘Ready to recharge. Recovery is always key’, while holding a can of Red Bull.
And Reds midfielder Adam Lallana has flown out to sunny Miami for his short break but he certainly isn’t taking his holiday lightly – he posted a picture at Equinox South Beach gym.
But while most of Liverpool’s formidable squad have decided to take their mind off the hectic schedule in England, Sadio Mane has opted to rest up at home.
The Senegal striker uploaded a photo on his Instagram page of him recovering on his sofa watching ‘Super Sunday’ – witnessing reigning champions Manchester City drop even more points.
Klopp has given the green light for his players to soak up the sun rather than worry about the FA Cup replay against League One outfit Shrewsbury at Anfield following the 2-2 draw at New Meadow.
The German manager has come in for plenty of criticism for staying away from the FA Cup encounter – insisting he won’t even be in the directors’ box as the kids prepare to battle it out for a place in the fifth round – in what he admits is a point of principle over fixture congestion.
Klopp has decided to leave Under-23 coach Neil Critchley in charge of a weakened team on Tuesday night – just like he did for the Carabao Cup quarter-final in December against Aston Villa.
And after claiming that the FA had failed to speak to the appropriate people at Liverpool about scheduling the replay in the Premier League’s winter break, he passionately denied that he owed it to paying supporters to at least be in the stadium.
Klopp said: ‘What difference would it make? Why should I be there? Give me a reason why I should. On the football side it is clear and the other thing is we have to make a stand.’
He also vehemently defended his decision to let Critchley take charge of the replay.
‘I don’t just show up for two days’ training and tell them what to do,’ added Klopp.
‘That would be like all the good coaches from the past could still come in, like Fabio Capello could just go to the Italian national team and tell them two days before what to do, and everything would be fine. It is not like this. They need their coach. And they get their coach. Critch.’