The present and future look bright for Liverpool, with an abundance of talented young players awaiting their big breaks.
A 30-year wait for league glory is finally over for Liverpool, and that’s only just the start of it. Not only can the Reds still break a few more records, the young talents coming through promise a bright future.
We’ve already seen youngsters like Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Neco Williams, Nathaniel Phillips and Rhian Brewster either establish themselves in the first-team or impress out on loan.
So now it’s time to check out five academy players for the U18 and U23 squads to have impressed the most this season.
The versatile 17-year-old has adopted several positions this season as a full-back, winger, central midfielder and even a centre-forward.
This term has offered fans their first real glimpse of Hill’s talents, and it’s fair to say he has impressed. His lack of experience didn’t hinder him on route to an impressive eight goals in 12 games in the U18 Premier League.
Hill has also made a few appearances for the U23s and debuted for the first-team in that brutal 5-0 thrashing to Aston Villa in the EFL Cup in December, where Jurgen Klopp refused to play his senior stars.
Dixon-Bonner remained a constant figure in the U23 squad this season, establishing himself in a central midfield role. He even captained the young Reds in the EFL Trophy.
The 19-year-old had a solid campaign and signed a new contract at Anfield back in November. He’ll hope for more first-team opportunities next season, especially after making his debut in the FA Cup and training alongside the players.
Clarkson has arguably made the biggest progress out of these academy players, which even led to praise from Jurgen Klopp.
The Liverpool manager’s assistant, Pepijn Lijnders, recently labelled the 18-year-old as the kind of No.6 that they would relish in the first-team, paving the way for opportunities in the FA and EFL Cup.
Clarkson, who made 11 assists in 38 appearances for the U18s, hopes to step up as a regular in the U23s next season and bag some more chances in the senior team.
One young Scouser who has made great strides is Stewart, who has been tipped as Liverpool’s next goal machine. And with 12 goals in 15 games for the U18s, who can argue with that?
“Layton Stewart. Look out for him; he can be anything he wants to be,” Reds academy director Alex Inglethorpe told Goal.
The 17-year-old forward caught Klopp’s interest despite suffering ankle injury problems. It led to training with the first-team and a spot on the bench against Aston Villa in the EFL Cup, which Liverpool’s youngsters lost 5-0.
A senior debut may follow next season as Clarkson continues to impress through his goalscoring instincts, pace, personality and sharpness.
The Huyton-born striker’s best moments this season perhaps came through his hat-trick against the Sunderland U18s and braces against Blackburn’s U18s in both meetings.
Another promising young talent making an impact is 18-year-old Jake Cain.
The attacking midfielder has registered 9 goals and 19 assists in 36 appearances for the U18 side. He’s now beginning to establish himself in the U23 team, with whom he’s already seven appearances.
Barry Lewtas’ promotion to the U23 team to replace Neil Critchley as manager may even benefit Cain for next season.
The Wigan-born star also made his first-team debut in a 1-0 FA Cup win over Shrewsbury in February and will hope for more chances in the near future.