Football FanCast has teamed up with the excellent IM Scouting to bring you their expert analysis on the 5 Liverpool’s youngsters who could become the backbone of the England team in years to come.
The headlines recently surrounding Liverpool have been anything but positive. The proposed takeover by New England Sports Ventures (NESV) is still far from finalized and Roy Hodgson’s side find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of the relegation zone.
However, look carefully behind the headlines at Anfield and you will find a thriving youth system which could just hold the key to not only Liverpool’s but also England’s future.
There are signs that the FA are beginning to take youth football seriously. Once upon a time, under-17 and under-19 tournaments were viewed almost as an inconvenience. Now, especially given Spain’s success in having developed and educated an entire generation of players to win the ultimate prize, England’s youth teams are approached more professionally and are well worth watching.
Over the summer, the under-17 side won England’s first age-specific title since 1993, defeating Spain in the final to lift the European under-17 championship. It is worth noting that the last England side to win a title, the successful European under-18 champions in 1993, included the likes of Paul Scholes, Sol Campbell, Nicky Butt, Robbie Fowler and Gary Neville – Not a bad crop.
Many of the summer’s under-17 champions are now producing the goods for Noel Blake’s under-19 side. They recorded two good victories over the weekend in the qualifying tournament of the European under-19 championship and the young lions appear to be roaring their way to next summer’s finals in Romania, where they will fancy their chances.
The big hope is that this crop of players will get used to performing and winning in tournaments at a young age. By the time they become senior internationals, they will be less likely to choke on the big stage in the same way that Fabio Capello’s side did in South Africa.
If this group of youngsters is to succeed, the likelihood is that it will also produce an exciting generation of new stars at Liverpool. IMScouting takes a look at five of the Anfield starlets who are central to England’s youth sides and of course are ones to watch for the future.