The Reds’ youngsters have actually stepped up this season in the lack of hurt key players.
Liverpool‘s 1-1 attract Midtjylland saw Billy Koumetio end up being the club’s youngest player to include in the European Cup or Champions League aged just 18 years and 25 days.
The French defender is the latest player to come off the club’s academy assembly line to stand for the first team.
This week Jurgen Klopp confessed the club “would have been lost” without the youngsters as he fought an injury crisis which, at one point, sidelined 10 first-team players.
Here the PA news company looks at the players who have actually made the development this year to strengthen Klopp’s squad.
Neco Williams (Age: 19. Appearances: 19)
Touch, @necowilliams01 pic.twitter.com/KWZyOJTT8C
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 5, 2020
The club’s most significant success story of 2020. With the Reds since the age of 8, an FA Cup debut at the start of the year was followed by a Premier League bow in June following the campaign’s reboot and he ended up the season with a championship medal. Had a combined start to the new campaign– leading to some serious abuse on social media– however injury to Trent Alexander-Arnold implied a Champions League debut, while he also won his first Wales cap and scored his first international goal in September. Now thought about as the real understudy to Alexander-Arnold.
Started as an under-10 at the academy, the centre-back was still using loan in the National League North with Kidderminster in March when lockdown came. Within 8 months he was making his Champions League debut as injury to Virgil Van Dijk, and consequently Joe Gomez, catapulted him into thefirst team He included in all 6 group matches and he looked comfy when coupled with a more senior centre-back
Liverpool midfielder Leighton Clarkson gained from Steven Gerrard at the club’s academy (Martin Rickett/PA)
With the academy since he was 7, the Clitheroe-born midfielder took advantage of input from Steven Gerrard when he was on the coaching personnel. He made his first-team debut as part of the Carabao Cup scratch side at Aston Vacation home 12 months ago when Klopp’s first team remained in Qatar for the ClubWorld Cup An FA Cup debut followed in the 4th-round replay against Shrewsbury as part of the youngest team inLiverpool’s history Made his first appearance in a Premier League squad for November’s home win over Leicester and made his Champions League debut against Midtjylland.
Billy Koumetio (Age: 18. Appearances: 1)
A unique night for Billy the Kid
Koumetio ends up being the youngest to play for the Reds in the European Cup/ @ChampionsLeague (18 years 25 days) pic.twitter.com/mSLbLogh3o
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 9, 2020
The France Under-18 centre-back joined the academy from Orleans FC in 2018. Just over 18 months ago he was on ball- young boy tasks at Anfield for Liverpool’s popular Champions League semi-final second- leg resurgence against Barcelona, which he confesses was an inspiring night for him. Liverpool’s backroom personnel started to make sounds about Koumetio in pre-season and he was included in their Neighborhood Shield squad to face Arsenal at Wembley prior to injury cut his development.
A dazzling @championsleague debut
Listen to Caoimhin Kelleher’s response in full on @LFCTV GO pic.twitter.com/GTmeyReNc0
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 2, 2020
Not rather in the youngster bracket however his effect has perhaps been amongst the very best. The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international joined from Ringmahon Rangers in the summer of 2015 and made his debut last season in domestic cup competitions, keeping 2 tidy sheets and yielding 5 two times in 4matches An injury to goalkeeper Alisson Becker, and some irregular efficiencies from second- option Adrian, saw Kelleher handed his Champions League debut in the 1-0 win over Ajax– unforgettable for his late conserve from Klaas Jan Huntelaar which ensured credentials– and followed that up with another tidy sheet on his Premier League bow. He has already developed himself as Alisson’s new deputy.
One to watch
Jake Cain (Age: 19. Appearances: 1)
Prior to making his debut because record- breaking FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury, Cain, who joined the club as a nine-year-old, stated his emphasize of playing for Liverpool was missing out on school to go on an academy journey to South Korea. The midfielder has been included in every Champions League squad this season however has up until now yet to make an appearance.