There’s never been a better time to be a Kopite. The Reds are top of the league, they’re champions of Europe and champions of the world. Success has become routine in the last year, Jürgen Klopp’s men have swept aside every team they’ve faced. Whilst this has been great to watch, the Liverpool academy could suffer as a result of the Reds’ success.
If they need any warning, Jürgen Klopp and his team need only look at what happened at Barcelona. For a decade we saw the Catalan giants dominate at home and abroad with their homegrown talents.
La Masia, Barca’s famed academy, was churning out top talents for fun – in 2010 the three FIFA Ballon d’Or finalists were all La Masia products.
In 2012, Tito Vilanova played an hour against Levante with 11 La Masia graduates in the Barcelona XI. Whilst in 2018, Barca lined up without a single academy product in the team for the first time in 16 years.
Barcelona were too good for their own good. They were winning everything with regularity and this success kept them from blooding talented youngsters.
At the minute the Reds are on course to match the incredible Arsenal invincibles. Liverpool haven’t lost a Premier League game since January 2019, you can understand why youngsters have struggled to break into the side. With such a remarkable feat at stake, why risk it?
However, no matter how successful we become we should always blood young talents. The likes of Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott have bags of potential, if we become too blinkered in our approach we could risk losing our brightest prospects or thwarting their development.
The Liverpool academy needs to thrive with the clubs success, not be threatened by it. We should learn from Barcelona’s mistakes.