Jordan Henderson is itching to get back with Liverpool and start gearing up for 2018-19 with his teammates having already begun fitness work while on holiday, James Milner has revealed.
The captain, who is set to report to Melwood at the start of next week, posted a photo on his official Instagram account on Monday of a running session.
And having exchanged messages with Henderson, Milner is in no doubt the Reds’ No.14 is desperate to step up his preparations for the forthcoming campaign with the squad.
“We’ve got Hendo to come back and I know he’s running because he’s been sending me messages, so he’ll be ready to go when he comes back,” Milner told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Of course he is [itching to get back], that’s why he’s a top player and a proper leader.
“He works so hard, so he’ll be ready to go and could probably play a day after he comes back, to be honest!”
When Henderson does return, he’ll be re-joining a squad whose sharpness and quality in training has impressed Milner.
He said: “The biggest thing is seeing what we’re like in training and the sharpness; I think if you looked at that session today, you wouldn’t know if it was pre-season or the middle of the season.
“The last few days have been pretty tough, but that’s what you expect at a training camp. We had three sessions yesterday, another tough one today and double sessions earlier in the week.
“That’s what training is about in pre-season; it’s not fun, but you can see the team improving every day and the sharpness getting back to the level. When you have a break and players go on holidays or go and play for their national teams, it’s not just the physical side - it’s that working together, quality on the ball, the sharpness and knowing what runs people are making.
“I think you can see by some of the moves in training and some of the goals being scored, we’re getting there.
“Everyone is pretty much back, fighting fit, new signings looking great and a couple of niggles to come back, but I think we’re in good shape going into the first game.”
In terms of those new signings, Liverpool have strengthed their squad over the course of the summer with the addition of four new faces in Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson Becker.
But it’s not just the quality of his more senior colleagues that has caught Milner’s eye - he’s been just as impressed with the manner in which some of the Reds’ Academy graduates have grasped their opportunities.
“There are so many players here and so much quality and competition for places,” said the vice-skipper. “The young lads have come in as well and some people might think that’s to make up the numbers at the start, but they’ve more than proven that wrong. They’re here for their quality and pushing everyone as well.
“It’s great to see and for them to come in and be as comfortable as they have been, working hard and showing their quality, it’s not easy to stand out with the amount of quality players we have in the squad, but they’ve come in and stood out.
“There is competition for places all over the field and that’s what you want at a top team.”