Many highly-rated Liverpool youngsters were in action this week as they joined The Red’s senior squad in Austria. Two 1-1 draw in 30-minute matches against Stuttgart and Wacker Innsbruck were followed by an encouraging 1-0 win over Mainz. Stars like Mohamed Salah and new signing Ibrahima Konate were also in action, but Liverpool’s youngsters stood out. We take a look at the most impressive ‘kids’ from Jurgen Klopp’s squad and evaluate their chances of breaking through this season.
Liverpool Youngsters Impressive As Pre-Season Kicks Off
Jurgen Klopp Looks to Invest Into Youth This Season
16-year-old winger Kaide Gordon was signed from Derby County in January and has quickly impressed Liverpool. He has scored six goals and registered three assists in just eight games for the U18’s and also got on the scoresheet in his only game for the U23’s.
Gordon’s excellent performances earned him a spot on Liverpool’s pre-season trip and he’s continued to impress. Gordon has been fearless so far, constantly scaring defenders with his pace and dribbling. If Mainz’s Luca Kilian hadn’t put Owen Beck‘s cross into his own net, Gordon would’ve been there to score his first Liverpool goal.
This season Gordon’s main focus should be starting regularly for the U23’s and continuing the form he showed for the U18’s. If he can start the season well and outshine other Liverpool youngsters, a chance in one of the cup competitions may come his way. The 16-year-old should be encouraged that he has been chosen to play over Harry Wilson. As the Welshmen nears a move to Fulham and Xherdan Shaqiri is linked with an exit, a path to a breakthrough is becoming clearer for Gordon.
As the most established of the Liverpool youngsters, Harvey Elliot has the most pressure to perform as he looks to earn a spot in The Reds squad this season. Elliot has been playing in the more senior half of Liverpool’s squad and hasn’t looked out of place. Although typically a winger, the 18-year old has been playing on the right of a three-man midfield. Xherdan Shaqiri played a similar role last season and if Elliot isn’t loaned out, he likely takes Shaqiri’s or Takumi Minamino‘s minutes. Playing on the right also means linking up with Mo Salah and although the pair still need to improve their understanding, Elliot found Salah in promising positions many times against Mainz.
Elliot will likely be used mostly in the cups and as a super-sub in the league. Liverpool will look for him to be a creative spark when they need a goal and the 18-year-old is certainly capable. His 11 assists last season suggest he’ll be one of The Reds’ chief creators when playing and Liverpool fans can look forward to his true debut season with high hopes.
Owen Beck is a forward-thinking left-back in the mold of current star Andy Robertson, exactly the kind of Liverpool youngster they are looking to produce. He registered five assists and one goal in 19 appearances as he made himself first-choice left-back for the U23’s last season. During pre-season, Beck, and Kostas Tsimikas have been sharing left-back duties as Robertson recovers from Euro 2020. Beck has impressed with his quick adaptation to the men’s game and it was his cross that deflected in for Liverpool’s Winner versus Mainz.
Next season, Beck will still be behind Tsimikas and Robertson in the pecking order so will look to continue to improve for the U23’s. A loan spell away may be an option but, with Beck being just 18, The left-back will hope he’s done enough so that if Tsimkas and Robertson do miss a match he is preferred over the versatile James Milner.
Main Image Credit
Embed from Getty Images