Dave Davis chats a bit about two of Liverpool’s brightest youngsters.
Liverpool’s pre season record so far reads: played four; won four; lost zero; drawn zero. The Reds have scored 10 and conceded none. Such a record would surely have fans waxing lyrical about the season ahead and the difference new signings have made, yeah? Well, Karius (one slip aside), Matip and Mane have all looked good, without a doubt. However, It’s been the youngsters that have drawn everyone’s attention thus far with their bravery, swagger and desire to take their opportunity. Markovic could take note.
The likes of Ben Woodburn and Ryan Kent have caught the eye and there was a slight tinge of disappointment when Jurgen Klopp confirmed ‘I think we’ll take two of them, but no final decision. It’s not about taking them’. In the cold light of day, the manager is no doubt right. The others will still be able to develop at Melwood or potentially on-loan for their own protection and good. Of the two that have made the cut, one is known to those who watch the academy and one has recently joined. Both have announced themselves this pre season though.
‘While I was coaching the Under 16’s a couple of boys really caught my eye. Trent Arnold has a terrific chance of making it as a top professional. He’s quite leggy, but got a lovely frame and seems to have all the attributes you need’. It seems Stevie Gerrard hasn’t been the only one to pick up on the West Derby lad’s abilities. Alexander-Arnold has been at the academy since the age of 6, so isn’t a secret to those who tune into LFCTV or study the goings on at Melwood.
The midfielder has made his way up through the ranks, captaining both the U16’s and more recently Neil Critchley’s under 18’s. He actually made his first team debut last season against Swindon, but it’s been this campaign where he’s drawn attention to himself. Stepping into the centre and notably at right back, there’s even a suspicion that with Flanno set to head to Burnley on loan, Alexander-Arnold could be an option there. There’s high hopes for this lad and and one Liverpool legend has made his feelings perfectly clear.
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If you believed everything on Twitter, you’d think we’d found our own Paul Pogba. Ejaria spent the majority of his brief career at Arsenal before moving to Melwood in July ’14. He spent the season in the u18’s but made the move into the u21’s last season. The youngster has been a stand out so far in pre-season with it being no surprise that rumours are now swirling around a new professional contract.
Fleet-footed, great balance and with an eye for a pass, the 18 year old has found himself in that No.10 role pre-season in a 4-2-3-1. Notably, Ejaria has been in the stronger first half teams the majority of the time, linking with the likes of Mane and Firmino. He has trained with the first team on occasions last season, although may not have the same avenues available like Alexander-Arnold. With Wijnaldum being added, Liverpool seem well stocked for midfielders just now.
There’s always a risk with hyping up youngsters as Carra found out when name-checking Dani Pacheco and Kristian Nemezth. However, these two have already impressed with the first team at such a young age and Klopp has shown he’s not adverse to giving any youngster an opportunity. These to are coming to America, you just hope you seem them at Anfield too.