Breaking through from the academy level to become a regular contributor at a club like Liverpool is extremely difficult. For every Steven Gerrard (or even Jon Flanagan, for that matter) there are dozens of dedicated and talented youngsters who just can't get anywhere near the senior match day squad.
Over the last several months, Liverpool have had to watch as numerous highly touted academy products have left for more playing time and/or more money. Jordan Rossiter and Joao Teixeira have left for Scotland and Portugal, respectively, each for a cut-rate £250,000 worth of compensation. Jerome Sinclair fetched a significantly higher fee from Watford, but his departure, too, seemed inevitable. And just this week, Liverpool completed a deal to send Spanish starlet Sergi Canos to Norwich for £2.5 million.
However, Canos's deal should give Reds a glimmer of hope. Not only were Liverpool able to secure a decent transfer fee right now, but they were able to insert buy-back and sell-on clauses into the contract. At the very least, FSG has protected the club from potentially losing out (financially or talent-wise) on another youth prospect. Canos, too, must be happy about this. He can fully immerse himself in his new club in a way that would be psychologically impossible on a mere loan, and can still find himself back at Anfield should he continue proving himself in the Championship.
FSG hope to use this model more, as Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are keen to do. Liverpool's academy is brimming with talent, but over the course of a season--particularly one without European football--it is difficult to give many big opportunities to academy players, especially in the win, and win now environment of the highly competitive Premier League.
In order to use this model more often, FSG will need to be more proactive and far-sighted in securing these deals before their youth contracts wind down. Also, the club might want to soften their hard-line stance on youth contract negotiations in order to either continue retaining some of these promising players, or helping to facilitate mutually beneficial moves like Canos's transfer.