This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to Liverpool’s official club website, former Reds defender Stephen Warnock has tipped two of the club’s academy players to potentially step-up and fill the shoes of the departing Alberto Moreno.
After confirmation that Moreno would leave Anfield at the expiration of his contract, the natural talk has been who the club would use to fill the void as the second-choice option at left-back.
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Scotland international Andrew Robertson has well and truly nailed down a place in the first-team, and now according to Warnock, youngsters Adam Lewis and Yasser Larouci should be looking to put a marker down to Jurgen Klopp during pre-season.
He said: “When you see one of the first-team players in Moreno leaving the club, Adam has got to look at that now and think, ‘Is this an opportunity for me?’
“We know the manager will look at the youth and give them a chance, but I think he will also be looking to bring someone in as well. Can the likes of Adam and Yasser put a seed in the manager’s mind of positivity towards the way they play?”
Despite impressing at academy level, the step-up in level in playing for the first-team of the reigning Champions League holders will surely be a bit too far. Robertson was a cornerstone of the team’s success in Europe and was a major factor in Jurgen Klopp’s side’s title challenge in the Premier League.
If the Scotsman were to suffer an injury next campaign, Liverpool would feel rather concerned about having to throw in the inexperience of the 19-year-old Lewis or the 18-year-old Larouci in the major competitions. Whilst the Anfield side were rewarded handsomely for placing their faith in fellow academy product Trent Alexander-Arnold, the right-back could be eased into action.
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In the high-pressure situations, it would be a major oversight on Liverpool’s part to go into the next season with just Robertson as their senior left-back option. The likes of Lewis and Larouci however could feature in the domestic cup competitions as 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever did against Wolves in the FA Cup earlier this year.
So whilst Warnock’s comments are understandable in trying to encouraging the club’s youth talents that there could be an immediate route into the first-team with a good showing in pre-season, Lewis and Larouci may not be in Klopp’s plans just yet.