Callum Molyneaux addresses the growth of Liverpool’s star-studded academy after a superb display from the U23s in the ‘mini’ Merseyside Derby on Monday night.

The next transfer window is a very important one for Liverpool, especially if we can qualify for the Champions League. But the emerging talent in the club’s academy should be looked at in more detail, with a few already given a chance since Jürgen Klopp took over as Liverpool manager.

I expect many changes at Anfield in the summer, with a few players to leave the club and a few fresh faces also to arrive. The likes of Alberto Moreno and Lucas Leiva are set to leave, with other fringe players such as Kevin Stewart expected to head for the Anfield exit.

There are also a number of players out on loan currently who are expected to leave the club on a permanent basis. Players such as Mamadou Sakho, Andre Wisdom and Lazar Markovic may have reached their expiry date on Merseyside.

If Liverpool qualifies for the Champions League, the rumour is that over £150 million is to be spent on freshening up the squad and in particular the first team. However, with the many fixtures we are expected to play next season, there is going to be a need for squad rotation which means a possible chance for youth team players to be given a chance.

Last night, Liverpool U23 played Everton U23 and won 2-1 thanks to goals from Sheyi Ojo and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The team is full of potential, and many have played a first team game. With a manager like Klopp, he likes to give the youngsters a chance, even though he has been forced to at times due to the thinness of his squad.

Out of the U23 team that played against Everton, I can see three to four players getting more game time next season.

The first one is Trent Alexander-Arnold. In my opinion, he is the player with the most potential at the moment. He is a strong and quick full back, and fans are starting to believe he is running Nathaniel Clyne very close for a start at right back in the first team.

 

I think, however, he will end up as a central midfield player, or maybe even a winger. Even though he is good defensively, and showed that when making his Liverpool debut at Old Trafford earlier on in the season, I think he is better going forward. He seems to be a box to box player, who has terrific pace and stamina, as well as delivering a decent cross.

The next player is Harry Wilson. If Wilson is to make it at Liverpool, then next season is very important for him. This season he has scored over 30 goals for the U23 team, but as of yet has been overlooked by Klopp. No one is really sure why, but hopefully he gets a chance next season to shine. He was called up to the Wales squad at the age of 16, so star potential is there.

Another player is young Ben Woodburn. Woodburn has already scored for Liverpool in a League Cup win over Leeds United earlier on in the season. Since then, he has been in and around the first team set up, mainly as a substitute.

He started last month against Stoke City but was substituted at half-time. He has massive potential, and only being 17, has many years ahead of him to impress. You can clearly see that Klopp is a huge fan, but is not rushing him into the first team.

The final player I’m going to talk about is Sheyi Ojo. When Raheem Sterling left the club, Ojo was expected by fans to replace Sterling, and become the next big homegrown player. For whatever reason, that hasn’t happened so far for Ojo.

He has enjoyed loan spells with Wolves and Wigan, where he impressed. He impressed Klopp so much he decided to bring him back, and last season he played in a few Premier League games, as well as some cup games.

This season, however, he has been injured, which has affected his chances of being in the first team squad.

I think if he can stay fit, he can provide Klopp with a different option on the left side of midfield next season, a more direct and pacey approach, something maybe lacking in the team at the moment, with the absence of Sadio Mané.

Next season is a very important season for a lot of the youth team players. It could be a make or break for many, so hopefully, they can take their chance if given one! Hopefully, we can see the next Steven Gerrard or Jamie Carragher in the team for years to come.

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