Jürgen Klopp's newly implemented policy of keeping his brightest youth talents close to home is already paying dividends. Despite drawing against West Ham in the FA Cup on Saturday, Klopp's side comprising mostly U21 regulars held their own against the Hammers and even in some instances made a case for inclusion in the team when a more senior squad is selected.
"Kevin Stewart was at Swindon Town five weeks ago, they did really well," Klopp said post match, explaining how far the youngster had come in such a short time. "Brad Smith big step in right direction. That's really cool. Ojo came in and did well, so did Jerome Sinclair.
"It's a lot of potential and that's important - the players have to show it but you have to show you see them. That's what we tried today. If they could have played that good how I trust them, then it would have been better, because it can be better. But it was good, really good, I'm pleased with this."
Though the absence of so many senior squad members due to injury or just exhaustion from the rigorous fixture list certainly played a part, it's a huge vote of confidence for the kids that he selected so many of them. Jerome Sinclair's likely departure has invited questions about players in the youth ranks not earning enough senior minutes to keep them engaged and in Liverpool's academy pipeline, but Klopp's choices on Saturday might point to a shift in how those players are developed and integrated.
"The boys deserved to win but it is like it is," Klopp continued. "We will have a team for West Ham and maybe it's not too far from away from this one today. I do not know when they will find a place for this game. Perhaps it will be in the morning before we play a game in the afternoon."
Jokes about doubleheaders aside, Klopp was quick to point out that there's no use complaining about fixture list congestion since the reasons for it are ultimately good. An FA Cup replay and a Merseyside derby set to be rescheduled due to the League Cup final mean Liverpool are still active in all domestic competitions, and thus still in the running for some much craved silverware.