The rise of Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool over the past few years has given the club something it felt it desperately needed following the departure of Steven Gerrard: the emergence of a club-trained star.
They might not have to wait nearly as long for the next one, though, with manager Jürgen Klopp saying that he believes there are three academy regulars who are on the verge of making a mark with the first team.
“That Trent made it and the three others are close to it,” the Liverpool manager said today. “It is a good sign for the kids around. The dream is to have all [academy] boys. The dream is to have a team full of Scousers.
“Neco [Williams] made exactly the same steps as Harvey [Elliott] and Curtis [Jones], but it is a little bit easier for him to have minutes than it is for example Harvey, who has made really good steps and is unbelievable.”
With Harvey Eilliott and Curtis Jones signing new contracts over the past week, it’s clear the club has them in their long-term plans—and with the uncertainty caused by coronavirus, perhaps in their short-term plans, too.
It’s Neco Williams, though, who as Klopp highlights has the clearest path to playing, as the club lack senior fullback depth on both sides of the pitch, relying instead on centre half Joe Gomez and midfielder James Milner.
Williams has looked promising on the right—and last match he was given a brief cameo on the left for the first time. If the 19-year-old can show he deserves it over the next few weeks, he could have a significant role next season.
“We are here for preparing careers until the boys are ready to play week in, week out,” Klopp added. “For me back at Dortmund and now here it is never about how old you are but how good you are.”