To say it’s been a difficult start to life at Liverpool for Ben Davies would be an understatement.
A shock winter purchase from Championship side Preston, Davies was signed for £1.6 million as Klopp aimed to fix the club’s defensive crisis.
Jordan Henderson was playing as a centre-back at the time, due to a host of injuries, prompting Klopp to sign both Davies and Schalke’s Ozan Kabak (loan) before the transfer window closed.
However, the 25-year-old didn’t play a single minute of first-team football for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
Why did Klopp sign the defender if he wasn’t prepared to use him? The situation has baffled many.
Does Ben Davies have a future at Liverpool?
However, it was revealed in May - per The Athletic - that Davies was informed he *does* have a future at Anfield.
The report claimed Liverpool had been tracking Davies since his breakthrough season with Preston during the 2017-18 campaign.
Back in March, meanwhile, Klopp made it clear that he wouldn’t rush bringing Davies into the first team until he was completely ready.
“It was always clear when a lot of players came here to Liverpool, and the most famous story is Andy Robertson took half a year in a normal season where pretty much everything else was kind of settled to settle in," he said, per This is Anfield.
“Ben is a really good player but he has to get used to all this stuff here as well, that’s how it is. We still have options and hopefully, it will stay like this.
“I don’t make these kinds of judgments [if he is not to play this season]. I don’t tell Ben we have just to train until mid-May and then we see further, no.
“It will take as long as it takes. But the problem was that it was clear that we will not start with two new centre-halves if we don’t have to because of the situation."
Ben Davies finally makes first Liverpool appearance
Davies, though, finally made his first appearance for the Reds, six months after joining the club, in a 30-minute pre-season match against Austrian side Wacker Innsbruck this week.
Davies started in central defence alongside Joel Matip in a line-up that also featured Loris Karius, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino.
And as he made his way onto the pitch - looking a little nervous, it must be said - Klopp spotted the defender and paid him special attention in a wholesome moment which Liverpool fans on social media are loving.
Klopp, perhaps sensing that Davies was feeling a touch nervy, embraced the defender with a hug and a beaming smile.
Davies then went onto the pitch with a smile on his face.
Watch the video here…
A little gesture from Klopp, perhaps, but it was one that clearly meant a lot to Davies.
Liverpool fans react to moment between Klopp and Davies
Now let’s check out some of the reaction from Liverpool fans on Twitter…
The mini-match finished 1-1 (Origi and Ronivaldo scoring the goals), while Davies will be pleased and relieved to finally have made a long-overdue maiden appearance in the famous red shirt.
Saul to Liverpool - Transfer update (Football Terrace)
How much do you know about Liverpool's first team? [Quiz]