Liverpool’s academy history boasts some incredible players to feature for the club over the years, and it is now on its way in promoting the next generation of talent.
Notable former graduates include Steve McManaman, Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. Also on the list is club legend Steven Gerrard, who is now critical to the setup in his new role as Academy Manager. The former captain couldn’t have started retired life in a more appropriate role for both himself and the club.
Gerrard himself can ease himself into future managerial roles with this opportunity, but more importantly for the academy players, they will receive his invaluable insights and wisdom on football after playing at the highest level. He also embodies the life and soul of Liverpool Football Club, which can only be a positive for these young reds.
Incidentally Gerrard was a huge fan of former academy star Trent Alexander-Arnold, now featuring for the first team, claiming that the young full back had a bright future at the club. The former Reds skipper’s perspective was shared when Alexander-Arnold helped hold Manchester United to a 1-1 draw in his first Premier League start earlier this season.
Other impressive youngsters breaking into the first team this season include Ovie Ejaria and the Welsh trio of Ben Woodburn, Jordan Williams and Harry Wilson.
Ejaria shone in his full debut in a League Cup win against Tottenham in October, with his Premier League debut arriving shortly after. He immediately caught Klopp’s eye with quick feet and a fantastic turn of pace, and is certainly one to look out for.
Woodburn needs no introduction to the Anfield loyal after becoming the club’s youngest ever goal scorer in just his second appearance, and has found himself amongst the first team substitutes regularly this season.
Harry Wilson meanwhile has banged in eight goals for the side this season, leaving him two behind the league’s top scorer, Man City’s Fernandes. The U23 captain made his first team debut in the FA Cup win over Plymouth, and became Liverpool’s youngest ever international when appearing for Wales as a 16-year-old.
Although Merseyside rivals Everton are seemingly storming the U23 league this season, the young Reds sit in third place with plenty of games remaining to catch the old enemy. The two next league fixtures for both sides may decide the title, with Liverpool facing winnable games against Derby and Reading who sit 11th and 10th respectively, while Everton have tricky tests with seventh places Southampton and second placed Manchester City.
After thrashing Huddersfield 6-2 on Sunday thanks to Woodburn and Wilson braces, the U23 face West Brom in their next cup game next Tuesday. The youngsters certainly have an exciting end of the season to come, but more importantly many have a bright future at Anfield.