Liverpool have always maintained an ethos of creating superstars instead of buying them, producing some of the most incredible talents in the world through their academy with Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard and Trent Alexander-Arnold to name a few.
Although the Reds do invest heavily in recruitment for the first team there has always been a consistent flurry of young talent getting a chance in the first team over the years and Jurgen Klopp is a manager who has championed that too since he arrived in 2015.
Curtis Jones, Neco Williams, Caoimhin Kelleher and Nathaniel Phillips were all given their Premier League debuts by the German coach, as well as probably the most famous and successful of them all, Alexander-Arnold, who was handed his senior debut in October 2016.
As a result, being in the academy at Kirkby is an exciting prospect for the standout performers in the youth team as they will be confident with their chances of catching the eye of Klopp to become one of his next superstars at Anfield.
One player who could may well be primed to be Liverpool’s next Sadio Mane is Trent Kone-Doherty, a talented teenager who has been thriving in the U18s set-up on Merseyside.
The 16-year-old, who predominantly occupies a role on the left flank – as Mane did – has been a standout talent since joining the club this summer from Derry U19s and has already proven to be a very exciting rising star for the Reds.
Over 12 appearances, Kone-Doherty – who was hailed “superb” by Paul Gorst – has scored seven goals and registered one assist so far with a goal contribution every 104 minutes. More recently, he impressed in a UEFA Youth League clash with Napoli earlier this week.
The youngster delivered a brace against the Italians to help Liverpool U19s top their group in the European youth competition where the team lost one and won five of their games.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, U18s coach Marc Bridge-Wilkinson gave an analysis and sang the praises of Kobe-Doherty:
“He’s a very good player and showed he can finish, he can go on the outside, and whether or not he’s up against people who are bigger or a lot stronger, he still has the ability and football brain to go past people.”
With that being said, the future is looking very bright for Kone-Doherty and if he continues to flourish there is no doubt that he could maybe one day occupy the position on the left flank of the front three at Anfield just like Mane.