Ngoo provides the Crouch factor for Rafa Benitez

Liverpool have a vast array of young, attacking talent that, if nurtured properly, can form the basis of the side in a few years time. Last week I wrote about the young English duo Nathan Ecclestone and David Amoo who along with Dani Pacheco, Lauri Dalla Valle and Daniel Ayala, are lighting up the reserve team. Another young prospect who has bags of potential is 17 year old Michael Ngoo, the striking sensation whose height, pace and finishing ability has led to comparisons with former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch.

Liverpool signed Ngoo from Southend in September 2009 after the youngster impressed with Manchester United’s youth side that summer, when they won the Milk Cup in Ireland and the youngster nabbed a goal and assist in the final. Last week, the striker hit the headlines with a stunning solo effort in Liverpool Under-18’s victory over Stoke. Ngoo went on a mazy run and dismantled the defence a la Maradona circa 1986 before slotting home. Ngoo’s height (he is 6’4’) has led to comparisons with Tottenham’s Peter Crouch, with his coach at Southend, Luke Hobbs saying:

“Michael has improved so much during the last 12 months. He is effective in the air and a good finisher. Michael is a coach’s dream.

When Dean Austin watched this team play against QPR before Christmas his opinion was that Michael was very similar to Peter Crouch when Crouch was a scholar at Tottenham and Austin was a pro there. Michael is a player with so much potential. “

Ngoo is regarded as one of the biggest talents in youth football at the moment. A towering striker with an eye for goal, the youngster’s main attribute is his aerial ability, which sets Ngoo apart from Crouch as he is good in the air and can actually direct his headers. The striker also possesses an abundance of pace, has good feet, superb vision, is a good finisher and has all the tools to be a good player in the future for the first team.

Ngoo has impressed for Liverpool Under-18’s this season and although he is still raw and sometimes wasteful, his link-up play is good and his aerial ability is a massive weapon at this level. The youngster scored his first goals with a brace against Blackburn in October and formed a deadly partnership with Lauri Dalla Valle in a 5-1 demolition of Leicester in January, with the pair scoring four goals between them.

Next season we should see Ngoo breaking into the reserve team at Anfield and with the likes of Pacheco and Dalla Valle looking like they will see more first team opportunities next season, Ngoo may be given the odd run out in the Carling Cup if he performs well. Give him a few more years to work on his game then we could see Ngoo fulfil his potential and be a better, all-round player than Crouch, who uses his power, pace and aerial ability to torment opposition defenders.

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