Five Liverpool youngsters who deserve more first-team opportunities

Alan Hansen believes that “you can’t win anything with kids,” while The Who think “the kids are alright”. Cameron Weldon says these five young Liverpool stars are best described by the latter.

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Last week’s 2-0 win at MK Dons in the Carabao Cup saw the Reds showcase a squad filled with young talent desperate for an opportunity in the Liverpool first team.

With a number of academy products and youth talents on show, and a front three with an average age of 17, it’s clear to see that the manager and coaching staff believe that there is a pathway for many of these talented teenagers.

That said, for many it was their first appearance for the club, and against — with the greatest respect to MK Dons — vastly inferior opposition. If the club want to give their young guns the best possible chance of breaking into the senior side, they must be more involved in the Premier League.

Here are five youngsters who I feel Jürgen Klopp should involve in his matchday squads more often.

Harvey Elliott

Since joining Liverpool in the summer, the winger has made an almost instant impression, causing people to turn their heads after a number of impressive performances for the u21s.

After making his competitive debut last week, the 16-year-old hit the woodwork twice and was a constant threat all evening.

Having played Premier League football with Fulham last term, it’ll be surely be only a matter of time before Elliott gets another chance to showcase his talent on the main stage although he has time on his side.

Curtis Jones

Academy graduate Jones has been at the club since 2010 and, at the age of 18, many people believe this is the season he could break through into the first team.

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A regular in the u23s, the Liverpudlian has also been involved in the last few pre-season tours, where he has impressed.

A man-of-the-match performance in his first start against MK Dons has only raised his profile even more and we for sure look forward to seeing him involved with the first team again soon.

Ki-Jana Hoever

With two of the Netherlands’ finest players in Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum, there are a couple of young Dutch talents who have excellent role models to look up to.

First is right-back Hoever. The 17-year-old made his debut first team appearance against Wolves in the FA Cup last season as a substitute, coming on for the injured Dejan Lovren in central defence and with only five minutes having been played.

The Reds lost that night, but Hoever was one of the few shining lights of the evening. He became the youngest ever player to play for the club in the FA Cup and produced an accomplished and mature performance in an unfamiliar role.

He was a surprise goalscorer against MK Dons last week. After a competent performance at the back, we expect him to be given more opportunities in the future.

Sepp van den Berg

The second of our young Dutch duo is Sepp van den Berg. The central defender joined the Reds in the summer after an impressive breakthrough season in his homeland with PEC Zwolle.

At just 17, van den Berg made 22 appearances for the Eredivisie outfit before coming on for his Reds debut at Stadium MK last week.

After a frustrating opening to pre-season with the defender not being allowed to play due to international clearance, he did feature come the end of the tour and gave a good first impression.

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Although a regular first-team berth is unlikely with the likes of van Dijk, Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joël Matip all ahead of him, it’ll be good to see him in the League Cup and watch him develop in the youth sides, for now.

Rhian Brewster

The final player in this list is perhaps the one who deserves a chance to shine the most. Brewster has been a goal machine at youth level for a number of years and many feel this is the year where he’ll make the big step up to the senior side.

After scoring goals for fun with the u18s and u23s, Brewster’s progress was halted last season — the young striker found himself out for the majority of the year with an ankle injury.

Working closely with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, also on the treatment table with a long-term ailment, he is now back fit and looking sharp as he made his competitive debut last week.

Although he struggled for an opening in Buckinghamshire, his talent is obvious. He signed a five-year contract in 2018, showing what Klopp thinks of him as well as giving himself plenty of time to showcase what he’s all about at a senior level.

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