Liverpool Youth to Shine on Premier League Glory Lap

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Liverpool Youth
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JUNE 01: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Curtis Jones and Divock Origi of Liverpool during a training session at Anfield on June 01, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

The long and arduous wait for Liverpool fans is over at last. This may well mean more chances to glimpse the champions’ youth players in the remaining games.

Liverpool Youth to Shine On Glory Lap

Youth Stars to Get Chance to Shine

After 30 years (and a couple of extra months sweat for good measure) they can finally call their side champions of England once more. This was after Manchester City succumbed to Chelsea in last night’s must-win game for Pep Guardiola‘s side.

There was an onus on the first-team side to remain in peak physical condition in preparation for their defence of the Champions League crown upcoming in August. Thus, the remaining Premier League fixtures give Jurgen Klopp the opportunity to manage the minutes of his big stars. At the same time, he can give more experience to an exciting pool of talented youngsters.

Of course, a number of the precocious talents have already featured for the Merseysiders already this season; former U23 manager Neil Critchley took charge of the fledgeling squad in games in the EFL Cup and FA Cup. Indeed, wins over Arsenal in the former and bitter rivals Everton in the latter have given the Anfield faithful a glimpse of the exciting times that may well be ahead.

Three players that have really caught the eye in those victories are Harvey Elliott, Neco Williams and hometown hope Curtis Jones.

Here’s a little more info of the tenderfoot trio:

Curtis Jones

Early Days

Honing his skills as a kid on the streets of Toxteth, 19-year-old Jones has been representing the Reds since he was nine.

Showing promise throughout his teens, the academy graduate first signed professional papers the day after his seventeenth birthday in February 2018.

By that stage, he had already turned out for the U23s and his wait to be involved in a first-team squad came around quickly; he was named on the bench for the trip across Stanley Park to Everton in the league in April 2018.

First Opportunities

Whilst not seeing any action in the red-hot heat of Derby Day, the central midfielder’s chance eventually came in the FA Cup third-round tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers last season. This was before getting a second opportunity in this season’s EFL Cup win over MK Dons. In this match, he picked up the Man of the Match award in a dominant performance.

He slotted the winning penalty in the Reds quarter-final win over Arsenal in October before making his Premier League bow from the bench against Bournemouth just prior to Christmas.

Youngest Liverpool Goalscorer Since Fowler

After returning from a non-playing experience as the side clinched the Club World Cup, by far his most impressive performance to date has been the aforementioned FA Cup triumph over Everton in front of buoyant home support in January. He scored the winning goal with a sumptuous curling effort from twenty yards, becoming the youngest Liverpool player to score for the club since Robbie Fowler.

Registering again in the next round stalemate away to lowly Shrewsbury Town, he became the club’s youngest ever captain at 19 years and 5 days. This was when he skippered the 1-0 replay victory over the Shrews at Anfield.

Klopp has singled out Jones for special praise, and indeed this player has great potential. Jones has represented England up to U19 level and looks certain for a successful career at the highest levels of the game.

Neco Williams

Two-and-a-half months younger than contemporary Jones, the Welsh full-back has enjoyed a parallel if not just as pointed rise to recognition this season. He made his debut in that enthralling penalty shoot-out victory over Arsenal in the EFL Cup.

Penalty shoot-outs have proven lucky for Williams, as he was on the winning side after slotting home from the spot in last season’s FA Youth Cup Final victory over Manchester City.

Like Jones, he too went to the Club World Cup but saw no action again to the draw and subsequent replay victory over Shrewsbury in the FA Cup – a night on which Liverpool fielded their youngest ever side.

The Wrexham youngster made his debut in Wednesday night’s 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace, replacing goalscorer Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 74th minute.

Playing a similar marauding role to his overstudy, Williams has already demonstrated an eagerness to bomb forward and deliver searching crosses for Liverpool’s more offensive players to attack.

He has perhaps unwittingly found himself at the centre of an international tug-of-war between the country of his birth and England over recent months. As of yet, he has failed to make an appearance for the Welsh national side despite manager Ryan Giggs‘ desperation to secure his services.

Harvey Elliott

Signed last season from Fulham, the teenager is no stranger to the spotlight, smashing the record for the youngest player to feature in the EFL Cup and the Premier League when turning out for the Cottagers last season.

Still only 17, he secured his move to Anfield last summer, and like Williams and Jones, has featured both in the Reds EFL and FA Cup runs this season.

The ponytailed winger now looks set to add to the minutes Klopp has granted him in cameo appearances at home to Sheffield United in January and against Palace on Wednesday.

Question marks over the futures of more experienced backups Xherdan Shaqiri and Adam Lallana may well see the Surrey-born starlet become more a feature of the side next season.

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