Dave Davis explains how this summer is a really promising situation for Harry Wilson, Sheyi Ojo and Ryan Kent if they can capitalise on the opportunities at hand.
Pace. Every team needs it and it’s amazing how one-dimensional they look without it. When Sadio Mané was absent in January and then injured after the Derby, Liverpool struggled at times.
We didn’t have genuine pace or real wide players, which made Mohamed Salah a priority this summer. The Egyptian is onboard already, but Jürgen Klopp knows he may need more with an increased fixture list.
Sheyi Ojo, Ryan Kent and Harry Wilson had contrasting campaigns last season, but there’s a common trend this time round. Ojo has been linked with Newcastle and Burnley on-loan, with Celtic and Leeds said to be in for Kent.
A bid has allegedly already been turned down for Welsh international Wilson from Brendan Rodgers Celtic as all three seem to be in-demand. Numerous sources indicate that Klopp will let a couple leave Melwood on a temporary basis too.
No-one will go anywhere until the manager has run the rule over all three and given them a chance to prove themselves.
Ojo missed a large part of the season through injury and appeared to initially struggle when returning to action later in the season. The former MK Dons winger was part of England’s successful under-20 World Cup squad though and enjoyed a solid tournament.
The image of him speeding past the Venezuelan defence will no doubt have given everyone at Anfield food for thought.
Kent spent the season on loan at Barnsley and became a fans favourite in Yorkshire. The 20-year-old was named as the Oakwell team’s Young Player of the Season and his dribbling ability certainly caught the eye.
The Oldham-born youngster is keen to get his foot in the door back at Melwood and will be going all out to ensure he stays on Klopp’s radar.
The only one who actually spent last season at Liverpool was Wilson and perhaps the greatest surprise was that he didn’t see any first team action.
The Wrexham-born youngster scored a hugely impressive 28 goals for the U23s, which left many asking what more could he do to breakthrough at Anfield. The likes of Woodburn and Ejaria enjoyed minutes, but not Wilson.
That doesn’t mean he’ll be shipped out at the earliest opportunity and you feel there will be a ‘three-way trial’ over this summer.
With Coutinho expected to drop deeper into midfield and the added stress of an increased fixture list, opportunities could well be easier to come by.
It’s not last chance saloon necessarily for any of the three, but this summer may well be their real chance to shine. Opportunity will knock for the one who takes his chance.