The inclusions of Marc Pelosi, Jordon Ibe, and Krisztian Adorjan in the Europa League squad was more about numbers than anything else, as the names that left in January had a roster spot that needed filling. It was also an acknowledgement of the youngsters' good work throughout the season, though, even if they were never likely to be in a matchday squad or see any time on the pitch.
Each had impressed in their own way, often times while on the pitch together. Adorjan joined the senior squad for their US tour back in July and had continued his improvement over the past few seasons, Ibe had begun to hit his stride from the wide areas and was scoring at an impressive rate, and Pelosi emerged as a regular starter in a crowded central midfield, with a solid workrate and good distribution in linking play.
The U21s' unbeaten run was ended at Tottenham back on February 11th, but they were back to winning ways against West Brom, with the three aforementioned names all playing significant minutes. Ibe scored his first-ever goal at the U21 level and came off with twenty minutes to play, while Adorjan put in a full shift. Pelosi looked destined for the same fate as Adorjan, but instead found himself stretchered off, having suffered a broken leg from a horrific tackle by West Brom captain Liam O'Neil.
You don't want to watch it, but the moment in question starts around 9:25 in the video below. Terrible challenge in a match that was nearly over, and now, for Pelosi, it means an extended rehabilitation stint. It's obviously a blow for the player, and ahead of the first NextGen knockout fixture against Sporting later today, it means Alex Inglethorpe will be without one of his more consistent players.
Kickoff is set for 7:00PM GMT/2:00PM EST, and it looks like the only way to watch will be for LFCTV subscribers. We'll try to update and monitor the match as much as possible, and hopefully the youngsters can avenge last season's 5-1 loss in Lisbon.