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Rodgers: The Kids are All Right

With a handful of youth earning minutes out and about the UK and on the continent, Brendan Rodgers is happy with the progress they've made during their loan spells.

Literally the only photo in the database that features both Suso and Borini. Sad times.
Literally the only photo in the database that features both Suso and Borini. Sad times.
Harold Cunningham

Brendan Rodgers went on record recently stating that the legacy he wants to leave upon retirement is that he developed a football club, working from the youth up. In an attempt to bridge the gap between the Academy and the first team, several Liverpool players have spent parts of or the entire season on loan elsewhere to get them the minutes they couldn't possibly have earned with the senior squad this season.

"Fabio has got games and scored some very important goals," Rodgers said regarding Fabio Borini's loan to Sunderland. "He got the opportunity to play in a major final at Wembley. All that bodes well for the future.

"The likes of young Suso has had a terrific loan in Spain playing regular first team football. He will come back and come into the squad in the summer and then we will assess where he's at."

Rodgers' lack of commitment on the Suso front is perhaps a niggling concern given recent rumours linking Suso to various Spanish clubs instead of heralding a triumphant return to Liverpool. With Liverpool inching closer and closer to Champions League, Suso would find his playing time significantly increased should he return to Merseyside next season.

Not everyone has the benefit of going on loan to a team in the top tier of English football, of course, nor is it necessarily in a player's best interest to do so. Several of Liverpool's youngsters are currently plying their trade on second division, and Rodgers is happy with the development he's seeing.

"The loans have certainly been beneficial," Rodgers continued. "It's good for us to put them into clubs who operate with a similar philosophy. That helps their development and hopefully brings them back ready to play pressurised football at a high level.

"We’ve got Andre Wisdom doing really well at Derby at the top end of the Championship and young Conor getting league experience at Sheffield United. He needed to go away and prepare himself to play every single week."

Playing time and experience are the key factors in these types of loans, and both Wisdom and Coady are earning both. At the moment, Wisdom seems a lock to return to Liverpool and continue building towards an eventual return to centre back, as opposed to the right back position he's been playing all year at Derby. Coady's future is less certain, with the youngster still not having broken through to the first team despite being the Next Scouse Hope when he first emerged.

Although the season seems to be winding down with an alarming pace, the summer is still a way off. The loanees will return home, pre-season will begin, tours will be taken, and with any luck new recruits will be brought in. These ex-loanees will need to find their place as Liverpool's line-up reconfigures itself, and impressing Rodgers at the height of the season is one more ace up the sleeve to do just that.

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