The Athletic have Layton Stewart down as one to watch in 2021. The teenager could be the next big thing out of Liverpool.
The Athletic put out a piece this week that names one to watch in 2021 from every Premier League club. For Liverpool, that’s Layton Stewart.
They describe him as a natural finisher with great pace and control.
It comes at a time when Stewart is about to kick on to the next stage of his career. He’s becoming more frequent as an Under 23s player – a step up from the Under 18s.
For that reason, we wouldn’t expect the 18-year-old to show up in the first-team soon. It’s a gradual process, after all, and he needs to perform at U23 level before we talk about senior football.
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Still, Layton Stewart is definitely a name to remember in 2021.
It’s important to remember the expectations here. There have been many very talented young players who faltered after stepping up a level.
Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold broke into senior football at the same time, for instance. The former quickly disappeared back down. The latter exploded into something special.
Yet at the time, Woodburn was the brighter prospect.
So we will temper out expectations with Stewart. What he does have, though, are the tools to hit the big time. It’ll come down to whether he can develop those along with Liverpool’s coaching staff.
The recent track record suggests things will go well. Curtis Jones, Neco Williams, Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have all played multiple games this season.
Leighton Clarkson and Billy Koumetio have had run-outs, too. Liverpool are currently in their stride when it comes to development and getting players into the first-team.
So, hopefully, Stewart can join that list soon. 2021 would be a great time to do it but we’ll give him all the time he needs before expecting anything.