5 reasons to enjoy Liverpool being in the Europa League

Ok, let's just address the elephant-eared trophy (not) in the room. Not being in the Champions League sucks.

The Reds won't be playing in Europe's main competition and hearing that anthem in their midweek warmups for the first time since 2016.

It's been six (largely) glorious seasons feasting at the top of football, but 2022/23's dismal Premier League showing has seen Jurgen Klopp and co demoted down to the kids table that is the Europa League.

Ah well.

Don't get too down though! It's not all bad (promise).

Jurgen Klopp has insisted he will take this year's European campaign seriously nonetheless, and there are still plenty of reasons to enjoy Thursday night football this season.

Here are five for starters:

Chances for the youngsters

PRESTON, ENGLAND - Monday, August 7, 2023: Liverpool's Ben Doak during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and SV Darmstadt 98 at Deepdale. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Exciting talents like Ben Doak, Jarell Quansah, Stefan Bajcetic and Bobby Clark might see limited game time in the Premier League this season, but the Europa League opens up possibilities for Liverpool's young stars to shine brightly.

Klopp has tried to play down talk of the Europa League being a sandbox for the kids to play in, but let's be real, we're going to see some rotation at least, with potentially valuable opportunities for those who take them.

The thought of Doak driving at an unsuspecting Toulouse left-back is enough to make it all worthwhile.

Squad management

And with chances for the youngsters comes some much-needed rest for the big/injury-prone guns.

We're only five games deep into 2023/24 and already Liverpool's defensive depth has been pretty thoroughly stress tested by injuries and suspension.

Once the games really start to come thick and fast as the winter nights close in, the option to give some stars a night off to prepare for the weekend could be invaluable.

New travel destinations

Have you ever had a reason to visit Linz before?

No? Didn't think so.

READ MORE: Who are LASK? Scouting Liverpool's Europa League opponents

Liverpool's meeting with LASK on Thursday will be the first in the club's history, while the Europa League generally opens up a world of new travel possibilities from Bačka Topola to Baku...

Though, admittedly, it would be better for recovery purposes if the Reds' away ties were all within a couple of hours by plane, please.

Joking aside, a European away day is a European away day and (especially) come the knockouts, Liverpool will relish the chance to create more memories for the archives marked 'famous European nights'.

The final is in Dublin

Dublin. DUBLIN.

Just imagine how much fun that would be...

Liverpool are the favourites to make the short journey across the Irish Sea next May, as the team with the highest UEFA co-efficient in the group stages.

Nothing is guaranteed, mind, but the Reds have a golden chance to set up another party in one of the continent's best locations for it.

New trophy for Jurgen Klopp

© Proshots - Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool may have lifted the big, silvery vase-shaped trophy three times in the club's history but the Europa League remains the one competition left that Reds have entered but not won under Klopp... and therefore that makes it the most important?

Klopp's record in the Europa League is actually remarkably patchy, with the German only ever winning eight games in the tournament across his stints at Liverpool, Dortmund and Mainz.

READ MORE: Jurgen Klopp's record in the Europa League

However, he did steer the Reds to the final in his first season and that team had Nat Clyne and Kolo Toure, so imagine what he could do now...

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