Liverpool’s season has not gone exactly as planned. The most recent disappointment was drawing against Basel on Tuesday night to leave the Reds resigned to Europa League football. Here Sarah Fitzpatrick takes a look at seven youngsters in the Liverpool Academy that may help out Brendan Rodgers’ side in the future.
Talented Norwegian youngster Martin Odegaard has been spotted training with the Liverpool first team in Melwood and dining out with Liverpool winger Coutinho.
Although, this doesn’t say that he will sign for Liverpool in the near future as he is rumoured to be planning on visiting the training grounds of Arsenal, Celtic and Ajax before making his final decision, while clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester United are also still interested in the player.
Whether the Norwegian sensation decides to sign for the Merseyside club or not, there is still plenty of young talent in the Liverpool Academy. This academy has proven in the past that it can create superstar players such as Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard, while Raheem Sterling was bought by Liverpool at a very young age from QPR and then also went through the Liverpool Academy.
This process of creating talent at the LFC Academy isn’t going to stop anytime soon as it is currently overflowing with talent from the youngest sides up to the U-21s. Let’s have a look at some of the youngsters that may be Anfield heroes in years to come.
Lloyd Jones – Defender – English
Lloyd Jones is a central defender who was born in Plymouth, England on the 7th of October 1995. The-19-year old made the switch from Plymouth to Liverpool in 2011 when he was just 16 years of age. Jones now regularly plays for the England U-20s after impressing scouts by moving through the Liverpool ranks with ease.
Jones is a physically strong and powerful centre back who has incredible heading and aerial abilities while he also never backs out of a challenge which makes him an all rounded and talented defender.
Jones has also shown leadership qualities in his central defence role for Liverpool’s Academy which makes him an important prospect for the future Liverpool team.
Sky Sports sent a scout to look at the player in early 2014 and their feedback read,
“Jones is graceful when in possession, many onlookers at Melwood have likened him to legendary figures such as Ron Yeats and Alan Hansen.”
Harry Wilson – Left Winger – Welsh
Harry Wilson was born in Wrexham, Wales on the 22nd of March 1997. The left winger has been at Liverpool since he was eight years old and has been a lifelong fan of the club. At only 15 years of age, Wilson was playing for Liverpool’s U-18 side as he quickly out grew the U-16 side.
Wilson began his international career for Wales by representing his country in the Victory Shield and at U-17 level. Wilson hit the headlines in October 2013 when he made his senior debut for Wales in a World Cup Qualifier against Belgium which made him the youngest player ever to play for Wales in a competitive game.
Wilson’s pace and ability on the ball have impressed coaches at Liverpool and at Wales while he also has great acceleration. The youngster also has an ability to be in the right place at the right time which means he has a great eye for goal.
Sergi Canos – Midfielder – Spanish
Sergi Canos was born in Nules, Spain on the 2nd of February 1997 and was signed by Liverpool from Barcelona in the summer of 2013. Canos learned his football trade in the famous La Masia Academy which developed his eye for goal and his outstanding passing ability.
The youngster is a Spanish U-17 regular who will look to progress further in his international career while he is already doing that at Liverpool as he has played for the U-17s, U-18s and broke into the U-21s this season. Canos is an attacking midfielder who can play on the right flank or through the middle as a number nine.
Former U-18 head coach at the Liverpool academy Neil Critchley said of Canos on his arrival,
“Sergi is an exciting final-third player, who likes to beat people, get into the box and finish. He’s very direct and he really comes to life when he’s got the ball at his feet. He’s exciting to watch and I’m sure supporters will relish watching him.”
Sheyi Ojo – Winger – English
Sheyo Ojo was born in Hempstead, England on the 19th of June 1997. The pacey winger joined the Liverpool Academy in 2011 from MK Dons and has been progressing through the ranks at Liverpool ever since.
Ojo was a regular for the U-18s last season but has since stepped up by breaking into the U-21s this season. Since then, Ojo has been impressive, including a wonderful performance against Sunderland in an U-21 game early on in the season.
Ojo is a pacey winger who can play on either the left or right flank while his skill and pace is a nightmare for any opposing defence. There has been plenty of speculation that Ojo could be chosen by Brendan Rodgers for the first team at some point this season.
Pedro Chirivella – Midfielder – Spanish
Chirivella was born on the 23rd of May 1997 and began his football career at the age of seven at the academy at Valencia. Chirivella stayed at Valencia until he was 16 as Liverpool swooped in to take the midfielder to Merseyside.
The classy midfielder was captain for the U-16 Spanish side in the 2012-13 season and is currently moving up the ranks at both club and country as he shows consistency in his holding midfielder role.
The youngster has been praised for his fantastic vision and ability to read the game while his outstanding passing ability has fans claiming he could be the next Xabi Alonso.
Jordan Rossiter – Midfielder – English
Rossiter is a Scouser through and through who has been at the Liverpool Academy since he was a young boy. Rossiter was born in Liverpool on the 24th of March 1997 and has been quickly progressing through the ranks at Liverpool. Rossiter quickly progressed up to the U-18 level and then broke into the U-21 side this year before being brought over to Melwood to train with the first team.
Rossiter has been named on the bench for the first team on a few occasions this year but was handed his Liverpool debut in Capital One Cup tie against Middlesbrough where he also managed to score to put Liverpool ahead.
Rossiter is an authoritative midfielder who has an impressive passing range and an eye for goal. The midfielder can use both feet and also shows passion while playing in the famous red shirt which makes him resemble a young Steven Gerrard.
Jordon Ibe – Winger – English
Jordon Ibe is already well known in and around Liverpool due to making his first-team debut on the final day of the 2012-13 season in a 1-0 win over QPR but the player is still only 19 years of age and is tipped to be a huge success at Anfield.
Ibe was born in London on the 8th of December 1995. The youngster garnered a huge amount of attention when he played and scored for the Wycombe Wanderers first team at the tender age of 15.
Liverpool swooped in to sign the youngster in late 2011 and he featured in the U-18 and U-21 side before being handed his senior debut by Brendan Rodgers in 2013.
The 19-year-old has been on three pre-season tours with Liverpool and is currently on-loan with Derby County this season where he has scored four times already this season. The skilful winger is physically strong, has breath-taking pace and loves to score goals which gives him all the qualities to become the next John Barnes.
Sarah Fitzpatrick, Pundit Arena
Featured image By Vincent Teeuwen from Vianen, The Netherlands (Trip Liverpool – FC Utrecht) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons