Last autumn/fall, Rodolfo Borrell departed unexpectedly from his role as head of Liverpool's academy in what was a restructure of the youth production machine. Former Academy Director Frank McParland was also relieved of his duties but he soon found work at Brentford. Borrell's track record at Barcelona was exceptional, where 13 years of service involved steering the development of Lionel Messi, Pedro, Cesc Fàbregas, Gerard Pique, and Sergio Busquets. When Rafa Benítez brought Borrell to Liverpool in 2009, it was part of a concerted move to ensure that talented young players were coached and guided in the right way to an eventual place in Liverpool's first-team squad.
The pair were instrumental in aiding the transition from Kirkby to Melwood for young players such as Jon Flanagan, Andre Wisdom, Suso, and Raheem Sterling. Both were Benítez appointments and Brendan Rodgers presumably wanted people in charge who reflected his vision for the youth system with his own extensive experience working with youngsters and his philosophy for the first team squad guiding his decisions. It seems the fallout from the decision to dispense with Borrell's services has revealed itself with the news that two coaches will join Borrell at Manchester City. Steve Torpey and Darren Hughes worked with players up to 14 years-old.
Replacements will be sought and Alex Inglethorpe already plays a prominent role in Liverpool's youth system. The former Leyton Orient favourite was appointed only five months after Rodgers and has been keen to use the playing philosophy of Rodgers as a model for the juniors. Youth coaches from some of Europe's finest youth academies including Ajax, Southampton, Sporting, and Barcelona would be ideal targets for Liverpool but it seems that recruiting players for the first-team squad is symptomatic of swiftness at all levels in the club.
Liverpool interested in Ajax youth coach Willem Weijs: "England is attractive, but less youth players have a chance to break into the team."
— Peter McVitie (@PeterMcVitie) June 7, 2014
Liverpool have much to thank Benítez, Borrell, McParland, Torpey, and Hughes for but the club's progress will continue. Manchester City appear to be looking to former Barcelona figures to steer their future but Liverpool are already seeing the benefits from a combination of system, staff, and leadership when it comes to developing, promoting, integrating, and guiding young players. Liverpool may not have wanted to lose these two fine coaches but Brendan Rodgers is a man with a plan.