Matthew Sinton discusses the lads who could break into Jurgen Klopp’s first team plans this season.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, there are a handful of youngsters in our squad with the potential to shine when given the chance. Last season it was Kevin Stewart and before he picked up an injury, Joe Gomez. Let’s take a look at a few of the players hoping to do the same this year.
First up is Ben Woodburn. The 16-year-old Welsh international looks to be playing with a lot of confidence already, having impressed against some of the smaller sides like Tranmere and Fleetwood in pre-season and is scoring for the youth teams. He has pace, power and certainly an eye for goal. One to look out for but, at 16, is it too soon for him?
Another one to burst onto the scene this pre-season was Ovie Ejaria. The 18-year old joined from Arsenal two years ago and is very highly rated by the academy staff. He can play in various midfield positions and has impressed with his range of passing and skill. He could definitely make a mark in the cup competitions.
One who looks the most likely to get regular first-team game time is January signing Marko Grujic. The 20-year old came from Red Star in Serbia and made an immediate impact in pre season, from scoring against Fleetwood to scoring against Barcelona.
He has the ability to bring a fair few goals from midfield and, with his strength, should be able to handle the physicality of Premier League football. Keep an eye out for him, he could be a real star.
Lastly, we’ll be looking at my personal favourite, Sheyi Ojo. The 19-year old is blessed with bags of pace, strength, the ability to beat a man, an eye for goal and has an excellent cross on him; the perfect attributes to be a top winger.
He was recalled from his loan spell at Wolves in January last season and made his senior debut against Exeter City in the FA Cup. Two weeks later, in the replay, he scored his first Liverpool goal in a 3-0 win with a brilliantly curled effort. He followed this up with a number of impressive performances in the league towards the end of the season and made himself a serious back-up option for the first team.
I’ll be very interested to see how he develops under Klopp; he’ll be hoping not to meet the same fate as Jordon Ibe, who was in a similar position last year – but I think he’s a more intelligent player. My guess is that he’ll get a lot of game time this season, either in the cup competitions or due to injuries.
My guess is that he’ll get a lot of game time this season, either in the cup competitions or due to injuries. There may be a bit of my bias here, but he’ll be great.
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