One of the many things to admire about Liverpool and Arsenal is how both teams embrace youthful talent. Keen organizational focus on youth development means that the best youths nearly always get a few chances to demonstrate their first team chops. The squads for tomorrow's game will include plenty of big names who got their start at lower levels of their respective club. Based on the second half of Liverpool's U18s match with Middlesbrough, Neil Critchley may be grooming another such talent who may be taking part in Liverpool vs. Arsenal matches in years to come.
Toni Gomes, a Portuguese national, was born in Guinea Bissau only a couple of days after Lauryn Hill's Doo Wop (That Thing) was released. Liverpool fans can only hope that Gomes' Liverpool career mirror's the thirsty trophy haul that Lauryn Hill was able to achieve. His performance in the second half against Middlesbrough was sure golden, netting the Reds three critical goals in a fight back from three down that ended with LFC taking the win.
Neil Critchley's quotes after the game convey plenty to be excited about for Reds fans, in particular after an off season that has felt a bit gruesome on the youth front. Having only signed with the Reds at the start of 2015, it is a welcome early sign of the lad's ability.
Precocious is the word you hear said often about his talent, but will this 18 year old Gomes have enough to follow in the footsteps of the 18 year old Gomez likely to start on the left side of defense against Arsenal? Only time will tell, but put in a couple more second half hat tricks, and it may not take that much time.