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Trent, Konate, Elliott star: Picking a Liverpool u23 XI

Considering there is not much football on at the moment, we here at RTK have had time to ponder – how would Liverpool look if they could only field an XI of U23 players?

Numerous youngsters have the chance to impress the coaches on the Reds’ pre-season camp in Austria.

They will be hoping that this could lead to some first-team games next season.

Of course, there are quite a few youngsters involved regularly with the seniors already.

So, what would Liverpool’s U23 XI look like?

Goalkeeper

Photo by Paul Ellis – Pool/Getty Images

We are getting off to a great start in goals with Caoimhin Kelleher.

The Irishman overtook Adrian to become Liverpool’s second-choice keeper last season.

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He impressed in the games he played, earning himself a new contract at the club.

Whether he will be Alisson’s long-term successor remains to be seen, but we do believe that he is one of the best U23 goalkeepers in the league.

Defence

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

The defence left us with some questions. There are three options at right-back, four at centre-back and only one at left-back.

We have decided to play three of our centre-back options, as it is the best way of getting our 11 strongest players on the pitch.

So, Rhys Williams and Sepp van den Berg will play either side of Ibou Konate in a back three.

Williams has 15 games under his belt in the Premier League and Champions League. He impressed at the beginning, before his lack of pace was found out.

Yet we think that once he grows into his body and fills out, he could be a very good centre-back.

Sepp van den Berg was incredibly impressive on-loan at Preston in the second half of last season, where he will stay for all of 2020/21.

He was a typically astute signing by the Reds and we expect him to impress a lot more in future.

Liverpool signed 22-year-old Konate for £36m (Sky Sports). Is that enough said?

He is one of the best young defenders on the planet and we cannot wait to see him in a red shirt.

Billy Koumetio has all the tools to become a top player and is unfortunate to miss out.

Midfield

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

We could probably have put our wingbacks in the defence section, but we want them bombing forward.

We think that Neco Williams and Conor Bradley are both better footballers than Owen Beck as of now.

So, we will move Williams over to left-wingback, where he has played for Wales, with Bradley on the right.

But what about probably the best player on the team, Trent Alexander-Arnold?

Well, he is going to form an all-Scouse central midfield pair with Curtis Jones.

We know, we know, Alexander-Arnold is a lethal weapon at right-back, so why would you move him?

Well, look at Philip Lahm and Joshua Kimmich. They have shown that it is possible to move from right-back to central midfield and even go up a level.

Alexander-Arnold is the best footballer in this side. We want him involved in the battleground.

His partner, Jones, is incredibly underrated by non-Liverpool fans.

If he can add some more goals and assists to his game and learn to move the ball a little quicker, he will be a top player. As he is just 20-years-old, we back him to be able to do it.

Leighton Clarkson, Jake Cain, Tyler Morton and Ben Woodburn are other options.

Attack

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

The two wingers in this side are incredibly exciting.

Harvey Elliott was one of the best players in the Championship last season, despite being just 17-years-old for the majority of it.

He is set to become a first-team regular this season before becoming a world-class player in the coming years

He takes the right-wing spot, with Mateusz Musialowski on the left.

The Polish star is one of the most exciting players that Liverpool’s academy has had in years.

He has earned his first senior contract at the club and will be hoping to show what he can do in pre-season.

The 17-year-old comes in ahead of Kaide Gordon and James Balagizi.

Up top, we have Taiwo Awoniyi.

The Nigerian has been a Liverpool player since 2015, but has never actually played for the side due to work permit issues.

Still just 23, Awoniyi has finally got the issue sorted and hopes to impress in Austria in the next few weeks.

Five Bundesliga goals for Union Berlin last season was a half-decent return, meaning that we believe he is a better option than both Layton Stewart and Paul Glatzel.

Full Liverpool U23 XI

Kelleher; van den Berg, Konate, R. Williams; Bradley, Alexander-Arnold, Jones, N. Williams; Elliott, Awoniyi, Musialowski

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