The quality of Liverpool’s squad is elite. While it isn’t quite the deepest squad in all of Europe (hat tip to Manchester City for that), it is a rather fantastic assortment of players in their prime ages, capable of playing multiple positions. The key piece, of course, being that they are all of a perfect age to be peaking at this precise moment.
Still, time is the only thing with a perfect record. Which means that, inevitably, we’ll have to look for people to fill the boots of some of the world’s best at any given position.
A natural place to look for reinforcements is the Academy. And given Liverpool’s rich history of bringing youth up through the ranks, the fanbase has understandably been very keen to know who amongst the Young Reds will be next to take the big step to the first team.
Since Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher both retired, fans began to wonder who might follow in their footsteps from the Melwood training grounds and through to the Anfield pitch. Trent Alexander-Arnold has put in a two-season resume that is pretty remarkable in its case to being one such player to make the jump. TAA, as it stands, is in with a shout as being among the best, if not the best, right back in all of football.
But coming up behind him has been a bit of a mix. Rhian Brewster is definitely being considered. Harvey Elliott, though new, seems to be one the club is interested in. Paul Glatzel and Curtis Jones are also brought up.
One name, though, has been touted for a while: Ben Woodburn. The young attacker first broke through to the first team in Klopp’s first full term at the helm. Since then, though, it’s been a series of setbacks, the most difficult of which is likely not having gone out on loan last season. His development has seen bit of a setback and what once looked like a bright and promising future, sees him closer to being on the fringe of discussions about youth prospects.
Now, don’t read doom and gloom - one can be on the fringe and still have a promising career in English football. Conor Coady, once of our Academy, is the current captain of the vaunted giant slayers, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Harry Wilson, another fringe Academy player, is currently busy scoring bangers for Bournemouth while on loan. There’s nothing to say that Woodburn won’t come good. Coming good as a Red, though, is still very much a question.
Unfortunately for the young man, though, his season will see a pause as he’ll need 12 weeks to recuperate from a broken bone in his foot. The injury was sustained while doing duty for Oxford United, where he is off on loan.
We obviously hope that Ben is able to recover fully and, more, come good on the promise that he showed just two season ago.