On a day when Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool consisted mostly of Academy graduates, who did he count on to wrangle those troops while the rest of the starting XI got a rest? James Milner. Who scored the opening goal on Wednesday’s League Cup match against MK Dons? James Milner. The 33 year old midfielder, playing leftback on the day, is probably the most reliable player, putting in pretty consistent shifts every time he’s called upon. So how did he think the kids performed in Liverpool’s 2-0 win?
“It’s always tough when you have a mixture of guys who haven’t played many minutes and a group of youngsters, but you could see the style of football we wanted to play,” the vice captain said following the match on Wednesday.
“We lost our way a little bit in the second half, and didn’t keep the ball as well, but I thought it was a pretty solid performance.
“When you look at how good our squad is, it’s not easy for the youngsters to get to the level they need to be, but they’ve shown they want to get better and better. Everyone is pushing, and that’s what the senior boys need: competition for places.”
Liverpool hardly signed any one of note this summer except for youngsters like Harvey Elliott (who had his own impressive outing against the Dons) and Sepp Van Den Berg, and with plenty of other competitions coming up like the FA Cup and the World Cup of Clubs in December, they’ll all have their opportunities to make an impression.
Will they be able to push their way into the League’s starting XI? That remains to be seen, but there isn’t a lack of playing time for any of these kids.