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Joao Carlos Teixeira Taking Great Strides at Brighton & Hove Albion

With the departure of Suso, the future of the young Portuguese midfielder has suddenly become much more important for Liverpool. Fortunately, he's been finding significant success on loan this season.

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

One of the keys to the team-building method that Liverpool is working towards is keeping a steady flow of young talent moving in to the club. That's not always the smoothest process, since prospects are a highly volatile thing in any sport, especially so in football.

The best way to find success with a forward-thinking stratagem like Liverpool's, then, is to get as much good, young talent in your system as possible, which was a major part of the idea when they bought Joao Carlos Teixeira in 2012 from Sporting Lisbon. His raw talent is large and obvious, but a serious back injury set his development back a long ways. Once he got healthy, though, he started playing again, and playing well.

Teixeira has spent this season on loan at Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion, originally paired with former Liverpool star and new Seagulls manager Sami Hyypia. Brighton struggled badly in the early stretch of the season, though, and Hyypia was replaced with Chris Hughton. The Irishman has had Brighton playing much better of late, and Teixeira's form has skyrocketed along with them, as evidenced by the impressive brace he scored against Ipswich Town last weekend.

The run on the first goal is pure guile and - as Italians would call it - grinta, and the power on both finishes is worthy of note. Those were his third and fourth league goals of the season, to go along with a trio of league assists and another in the League Cup.

Teixeira can, ostensibly, replace Suso as a young attacking midfield talent for Liverpool. He offers the same kind of versatility as Suso: quality out on either wing - Joao has played most of his games out wide, and most of those on the left - but perhaps performing at his best when running through the middle. He's actually a little older than Suso, with Teixeira having just turned 22 on January 18th and Suso not reaching that age until next November, but given the injury issues he's suffered he has less playing time under his belt.

Given Suso's departure, Teixeira's successful development becomes all the more important for Liverpool's future. Fortunately, it seems he's been taking some excellent strides at Brighton over the last couple of months. Now that he's getting a regular run in Hughton's side and finding a good vein of form, he has a chance to make up for an awful lot of lost time.

Will Teixeira be ready to play a role in Liverpool's first team next season? It's a little early to say, but even if he isn't, he should be ready to play a good chunk of minutes for a lower-level Premier League side. Either way, he's heading in the right direction now, and that's only a good thing for Liverpool and his career.

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