Future Stars: Can Liverpool forward Liam Millar become the latest Canadian prodigy?

Since Canada-born Millar joined the Academy from Fulham back in 2016, he has made a significant impression on fans and club alike.

His success at the academy in Kirkby, as well as loan spells at Kilmarnock, proved his versatility and talent on the pitch, and laid the stepping stones for his first senior Liverpool appearance in February this year. But how did the 20-year-old get to this landmark point in his career?

On his journey to his current success, Millar has represented the club at the u18, u19 and u23 levels, rising through the ranks to become a respected member of the academy. We talk about giving a good first impression, and the young forward certainly did just that, scoring four minutes into his Liverpool u18s debut. He went on to score a hat-trick in an exciting match that finished 4-0 to the Reds.

Following this success, his free transfer deal turned into a professional contract for the club. After signing he continued to impress key figures in the youth setup, including the likes of academy director Alex Inglethorpe and u18 coach Steven Gerrard.

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Unfortunately an injury would keep Millar out of the first three months of the u18 Premier League, but he returned with a flourish, scoring six goals in just 17 appearances. This feat led to his appearance in every one of Liverpool’s UEFA Youth League games in 2017/18, a period which was rounded-off with his call-up to the u23 squad in early 2018.

As if that year couldn’t get any better for the then 18-year-old, Millar was called up for the Canadian first team. He has since gone on to make eight appearances for the international side, appearing alongside the likes of Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David and impressing on each occasion. 

Back at Kirkby, following strong performances for the u23s, Millar signed a long-term first team contract with the Reds in early 2019, before beginning two on-loan spells at Kilmarnock.

The young Canadian scored his debut goal for the Scottish Premiership side in March 2019, and 33 appearances gave him a good amount of senior experience so vital at this stage of his career. Millar returned to Liverpool in January 2020, when his loan period was cut short. 

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In the few months before football’s postponement on March 13, Millar made sure he remained on the club’s radar. His senior Liverpool debut came in the FA Cup fourth round replay against Shrewsbury Town, a 1-0 victory overseen by then u23s manager Neil Critchley.

In an interview with Steve Hunter for the official Liverpool FC site, Millar described his first senior start for the club as “unbelievable” and “the proudest moment of my life”. Next, he went on to score the primary goals in the final two Liverpool u23s matches before lockdown — both games were won easily by the Reds — reminding the team at Kirkby of his versatility and goal-scoring talent. 

It can’t be forgotten, though, that Millar is not the only emerging talent amongst Liverpool’s youth teams. Before his loan to Swansea City in January of this year, exciting English forward Rhian Brewster made a strong impact at the club.

In 2016, at just 16 years of age, he was called up by Jürgen Klopp to play for the first-team in friendlies, where he scored a hat-trick against Accrington Stanley. Brewster has also played for the English national team at youth level on multiple occasions, most recently securing six appearances for the England u21s.

Further to this, it should be noted that although Millar is young, there are a significant number of academy boys who have emerged both onto the local and national scene at a younger age and continued to impress. 

Jürgen Klopp’s recent interest in RB Leipzig’s exciting German forward Timo Werner could present itself as another hurdle for Millar, as signing more goal-scoring talent is on the radar for the Reds. 

However, despite the competition from other young forwards with rumoured futures at the club, it is clear that the 20-year-old Canadian has made an impact during his four years at Liverpool, including impressing club legend Steven Gerrard.

The next few months and years will be hugely significant in deciding his future and, if he performs on par with the likes of Brewster and Curtis Jones, fans can surely expect to see more of him in first-team fixtures.

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Liv Perry

University of Southampton graduate and aspiring sports journalist.

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