Jurgen Klopp has not been shy about starting young players when ready. Last year saw the rise of Trent Alexander-Arnold and the introduction of Big Joe Gomez to the fold. TAA has obviously gone on to establish himself as the first choice right back when fit and the inscrutable BJG has returned from injury to ably man the center back spot left empty with Dejan Lovren’s injury.
Since the departure of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, many have wondered who the next big stars from the academy might be. In TAA, we have not only an academy product, but a Scouser. In Joe Gomez, we have a young talent picked off at just the right moment. Who’s up next is a bit more of a conundrum, though.
Many expected - including myself - that Ben Woodburn might be on the cusp, but with the team looking overly stocked at attack and in need of minutes, Woodburn was allowed to go off on loan to Sheffield United. So it is with Harry Wilson (Derby County) and Ryan Kent (Rangers). The nature of youth development is such that fine margins make a difference. And even those with the considerable talent of Woodburn and Wilson are still in need of time before making an impact.
Still, it is the nature of fandom and interest in player development to ask who might be next in line to catch the attention of those hopeful for more homegrown players. This week, the club profiled one such player: a Scouser born to German parents, Paul Glatzel. Glatzel currently plays for the U18s but has been part of Liverpool’s academy set up since the U7s. Named the captain coming into this season, the forward has absolutely lit up the league with return of 6 goals in 4 league matches - including a hat trick.
Glatzel will have quite a lot of work to do as he finds himself behind a stable of attackers and goal scorers that includes the aforementioned youth prospects as well as Rhian Brewster and Dom Solanke. But considering that his playing style seems to mesh with Liverpool’s style of play, and that his return is certainly impressive, I think it’s safe to say he’s one to keep an eye on.
Here’s a link to the full interview, including clips of Glatzel in action. All the best to him and all of the lads in the Academy.