In his column for the Liverpool Echo, John Aldridge stated that the Reds currently have the best youth team the club has ever had. He mentioned that there was as many as 14 youngsters who had the potential to make it the first team:
“I say with some confidence that this is the best youth team Liverpool have ever had, There’s so much promise among the players that fans are excited to see them in the first team when the time is right. Usually, you can identify just one or two who might make the grade from the second strings. Now, there’s up to 14 who could easily appear for the senior side at some stage. Hopefully, in the next few years, the lads in their late teens will be getting some action and it sets up some exciting times for Liverpool.”
I have attempted to identify the 14 players below. He maybe talking about some players in lower age groups but I have selected the best players from the reserves and under 18s (omitting players such as Danny Wilson, Dani Pacheco and Jonjo Shelvey who could be said to be more estbalished first team squad members already) to make up my list. Some of them maybe guesses but I feel the majority are correct.
2. Conor Coady – Selected on the bench for the Europa League encounter last Thursday, the holding midfielder/centre-back captains Liverpool U18s and led England’s U17s to the European Championships last summer.
3. Andre Wisdom – The centre back scored an own goal and a goal at the right end during the U17 European Championship final last year, and has moved up to reserve team football this campaign
4. John Flanagan – The full back is highly thought of at Melwood and was one of the five youngsters who made the trip to Prague last week.
5. Jack Robinson – Became Liverpool’s youngest ever player at 16 years and 250 days when he came on against Hull in the last match of the 2009/10 season. The left back is an excellent crosser of the ball and was also in Prague on Thursday.
6. Tom Ince – Paul Ince’s son had an impressive loan spell at his Dad’s club Notts County last month, but his contract is up in the summer, and it will be interesting to see whether he is still a Liverpool player come next season.
7. Raheem Sterling – Enough has been said about this lad already. Needless to say that he is a very exciting prospect.
8. Daniel Ayala – Out on loan at Derby County, the Spanish defender’s qualities are well known.
9. Nathan Eccleston – Out on loan at Charlton Athletic, and performing well for the Addicks so far.
10. Toni Silva – An exciting Portuguese left winger with a lot of trickery and pace.
11. Michael Ngoo – A tall powerful striker with great pace but lacking a killer instinct in the air as yet.
12. Krisztian Adorjan – The Hungarian striker/attacking midfielder is quite prolific at Under 18 level and could be one to look out for.
13. Kristjan Gauti Emilsson – The Icelandic midfielder has a knack of scoring vital goals from midfield, and was chased by a host of top European clubs before his arrival at Liverpool in January last year.
14. Jamie Stephens – A talented goalkeeper bought from Swindon last April.
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