Academy director Alex Inglethorpe has revealed why he had no doubts over extending his contract at Liverpool.
Since Jurgen Klopp arrived on Merseyside there has been an elevated sense of importance surrounding the academy setup. This isn’t to say that Brendan Rodgers was dismissive of youth stars, quite the opposite. Rather, Klopp has been making very clear and pragmatic efforts to make the divide between the first team and the academy less definite.
A man who is been hugely important for the academy is Alex Inglethorpe. His close and almost continuous contact with Klopp has furthered the developing relationship between the juniors and the seniors at Liverpool Football Club.
As far as Inglethorpe is concerned, there was no reason to consider anything but extending his deal with the club.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, Inglethorpe shed some light on his delight to have committed his future to the club and academy.
“I feel very fortunate,” Inglethorpe said. “I feel I’ve got the best youth job in football and I’m delighted, first and foremost, to be wanted by the club to stick around for a while longer. There was absolutely no hesitation from my part to commit for as long as they want me.
“I think I’ve been very, very fortunate to arrive at a club like Liverpool at a time when not only is the philosophy and vision from the owners very clear – and the support from the owners that I’ve had in particular has been incredible – but also from the first team, from Michael Edwards, from everybody. And the continuity as well from my staff at the Academy. I’m very lucky to work with an awful lot of very dedicated and very talented people.”
Inglethorpe’s close working relationship with Jurgen Klopp has allowed for youngsters like Sheyi Ojo, Ovie Ejaria and Trent Alexander-Arnold to emerge onto the first team setup and make their full Liverpool debuts.
Inglethorpe revealed his admiration for Klopp and how he is a manager who believes in promoting the youth before all else.
“Our manager is a developer of talent, there is no question of that. He is outstanding at doing what he does. He is incredibly brave. He has a genuine belief; a lot of people talk about having belief in youth and giving youth their chance, but it’s one thing to talk about it and another thing to actually do it.
“We’re very fortunate to have a manager and his staff who all believe passionately about developing younger players. We’re really hoping those younger talents will come from the Academy, but if they don’t, we’ve seen with a number of signings that have come in at a young age that he has faith in his ability to develop those players into champions.”
When asked if there is a clear philosophy at the club that is shared between Inglethorpe and Klopp, the academy director replied, “I believe so, and I think the owners have got to take credit for that because it’s their philosophy too.”
He continued, “They believe in hard work, integrity and young players coming in and being given an opportunity. Of course, it’s not just to be young – you’ve got to be good enough to win and win well with this club.”