Aaron Cresswell has revealed that when Liverpool released him from the youth academy he was absolutely devastated.
It’s somewhat ironic that Liverpool released Cresswell as a fifteen-year-old but have had serious issues at left back ever since John Arne Riise left the club. It’s almost as if releasing Cresswell left a curse on the club and ever since Liverpool have had the likes of Aly Cissokho and Jose Enrique play for the club. The period when Cresswell left the club and Riise was at the club overlap make it possible that the football gods punished Liverpool for being so short-sighted.
On a serious note, however, despite being released, Cresswell worked his way upwards and is now West Ham’s first choice left back and has even received a call-up to the England national team.
“They pull the parents to one side and tell them: ‘It’s not to be, but it’s not the end.’ I was devastated. As a kid, you are in a bubble of playing for Liverpool.
“It was all I had done for two years and I had enjoyed it so much. It was about playing for the club I supported.
“My dad said: ‘It is not the end of the world. Go back with your mates. Just play with a smile on your face and enjoy it.’ That’s what I did. I went back with the lads.
If Liverpool hadn’t released Cresswell then we wouldn’t need to play James Milner out of position, regardless of how well he is doing out of position. That being said, it’s almost impossible to get every call right when it comes to youth – just look at Manchester United. The Red Devils kept Tom Cleverley at the club but allowed Paul Pogba to leave.
Liverpool’s current youth setup is looking particularly bright with players like Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Woodburn and Ovie Ejaria impressing hugely. Klopp’s plan to combine the first team and academy only serves to further bolster efforts to promote youth development and this can be nothing but good for the future of the club.