Three summer signings were on the scoresheet for Liverpool as the under-18 team thrashed Leeds United 5-0 at Melwood on Saturday afternoon – with Marcelo Pitaluga keeping a clean sheet on his debut.
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson made five changes to the team that lost 2-1 at Wolves prior to the international break, including summer addition and Brazilian teenager Pitaluga and a first start for fellow new arrival Mateusz Musialowski, after Conor Bradley and Tyler Morton both got the call-up to the U23s.
Musialowski, 17, enjoyed a perfect start to life at Liverpool after the Poland U17s international put the young Reds ahead at the quarter-hour mark with an accomplished finish.
Layton Stewart continued his rich vein of goalscoring form as the 18-year-old raked in his 11th goal of the season sliding home from James Norris’ cross midway through the first-half.
The teenager who has been dubbed ‘the next Fernando Torres‘ later turned provider as Melkamu Frauendorf – another summer signing – capped an emphatic first half with his second of the season.
Pitaluga caught the eye between the sticks for his new team having played for the first time since completing a summer switch from Fluminense.
The 17-year-old is well known to Liverpool’s No 1 and FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year Alisson Becker because his brother, Muriel, plays for Fluminense. The trio have been pictured together on social media.
He will likely endure busier afternoons for the Reds but as debuts go, Pitaluga couldn’t have asked for a much better inaugural Liverpool appearance.
Isaac Mabaya and Oakley Cannonier both came off the bench in the second half to complete the rout for Liverpool, who have moved top of the U18s Premier League following their sixth league win of the season.
Liverpool U18s: Pitaluga; Wilson, Quansah (Mabaya 46′), Miles, Norris; Corness, Frauendorf, Balagizi, Musialowski (Cannonier 68′); Woltman, Stewart
Subs not used: Davies, McConnell
Next Match: Burnely (H) – U18 – Premier League – Saturday, November 28, 11am (GMT)