With Brendan Rodgers choosing to go young early and often this season, we've had a chance to become increasingly familiar with the club's fresher faces. Raheem Sterling, Suso, and Andre Wisdom have featured most prominently for the senior squad, and Adam Morgan, Stephen Sama, and Kristzian Adorjan were among those included for the North American tour. Last season saw increased exposure with the NextGen Series and a handful of televised matches through the offal, and while it's seemed a bit more difficult to keep up with both European and domestic competition recently, there's plenty worth following throughout the club's ranks.
The creation of a more formalized U21 Premier League has brought about something resembling a sense of purpose for the reserves, and the new format has seen Liverpool's charges play eleven matches unbeaten and rest comfortably atop National Group 3, ahead of Wolves' U21s by eight points with a game in hand. They're just one point off being tops in the country having played one match less than West Ham, and their come-from-behind victory on the weekend over Fulham saw both Morgan and Adorjan get on the score sheet.
Monday's win for the U21s came on the heels of an encouraging NextGen Series performance, which saw new manager Alex Inglethorpe's squad earn a 3-0 win over Dortmund to keep their qualification hopes alive. Conor Coady scored twice in the victory, and Brad Smith and Jordan Ibe were standouts in a match that was as comfortable as the club has season in this season's competition.
Ibe was on display again last night as Liverpool tore apart Swindon in the FA Youth Cup, this time featuring for a U18 side that eased to a 5-0 win on the strength of four first half goals. The forward scored a fantastic goal from distance, and Jack Dunn scored twice from the midfield with Sinclair adding one of his own and forcing an own goal in a comfortable win that'll see the youngsters through to the fourth round. Sinclair's performance was especially impressive, and while rumors of his inclusion in the squad for the trip to Udinese might still ring of showmanship on the club's part, it's hard to not be excited about the future of those that were involved at
Success at the youth level doesn't necessarily correlate to success in the top flight, and because that's the reality it's hard to get too excited about the way things have gone of late in the youth ranks. But that doesn't mean there isn't any room for optimism, and looking around the Premier League, it'd be hard to argue that there's a more promising youth setup around. The results are nice enough, but the talent on display--both individually and collectively--makes it hard to not be positive about what's on the horizon for Liverpool.