Championship loans vital for future of Liverpool prospects

They’ve all had very different career paths so far, but Harvey Elliott, Harry Wilson and Sheyi Ojo are all currently on loan in the Championship. SAM JONES explores if it can be a platform for any of them to kick on at Anfield.

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In the past, the Championship had a poor name for being full of players who just couldn’t cut it in the top flight.

However, in recent years players like Joe Gomez, James Maddison and Jack Grealish have all stepped into the Premier League and taken it by storm, proving the Championship isn’t the reject pool it once was thought to be.

Because of this, the Championship is now the prime place for Premier League clubs to send their young stars to get first team experience.

One of the players Liverpool have in the league is winger Harry Wilson, who joined Welsh side Cardiff City for the rest of the season on Deadline Day.

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The wide man clearly has what it takes to compete in the league, completing the 2018/19 season on loan with Derby, scoring 15 goals including a wonderful free-kick in a cup tie against Manchester United.

Last season he was on loan at Bournemouth in the Premier League. Despite his best efforts, the Cherries went down with Wilson’s seven goals proving not enough to save them from the drop.

So far this season, Wilson has scored once in three appearances for the Bluebirds – a strike which earned his side a point against Bournemouth. He will need a strong season this year to prove to Jurgen Klopp that he is good enough to play at least a small part in the first team next campaign.

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Another winger on loan at Cardiff is Sheyi Ojo. Like Wilson, he has spent the last few years away from Anfield, spending time with Wigan, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Fulham, Reims, Rangers and obviously now Cardiff.

Unlike Wilson, Ojo has never been known for his goal scoring output, with four being the most he has scored in a single league season.

However, he does show signs of turning that around with two strikes already after nine games in South Wales.

Ojo is now 23 and is yet to make any kind of serious impact at Liverpool, making just eight league appearances for the Reds despite initially looking to be a favourite of Klopp’s when the German first took over.

If he is going to kick on and become a first team player at any stage, Ojo needs to find form while at the Bluebirds and impress when he returns to Anfield, otherwise he will likely be sold to another Championship side.

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The final player Liverpool have in the Championship is exciting prospect Harvey Elliott, who will spend the 2020/21 season with Blackburn Rovers.

The teenager has already made four starts for Blackburn, scoring once and getting two more assists after impressing early on for the Lancashire club. He has also played the full 90 minutes in all four games so far in a period of just 10 days, proving his fitness.

Elliott is by far the youngest of the three at just 17 years old and yet seems to be the one with the highest hopes around his potential to be a star of the future.

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The former Fulham winger is the youngest person to ever play in a Premier League game, being aged just 16 years and 30 days when he made his debut for Fulham.

This got the attention of Liverpool who signed him when his contract expired at Craven Cottage.

Elliott is thought to be one of a golden generation coming through at Anfield, with high hopes that he will one day be able to replace Mohamed Salah in the first team.

Hopefully with a good season under his belt Klopp will realise how much of an asset Elliott could be for him going forward and give him an extended run of first team minutes.

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