Whenever staff and players within Liverpool are questioned about young striker Paul Glatzel, one thing resonates in every response – the high regard in which each individual holds the 19-year-old.
He has been a shining light in the youth ranks over the last few seasons – he scored 11 in 15 u18 games during an impressive 2018/19 season. Unfortunately, he suffered a major injury setback the following year which has delayed his development after he missed the entirety of the 2019/20 campaign.
Glatzel’s name was brought to the attention of many Reds fans during the 18/19 campaign, were the young man showed his goal scoring prowess on a weekly basis under current u23 manager Barry Lewtas, during his tenure in the u18 side.
During this prolific season, the striker scored a dazzling 28 goals as he formed a magnificent strike partnership with former Red, Bobby Duncan. With this partnership leading the line, Lewtas’ side secured 2018/19 FA Youth Cup glory with a win over Manchester City in the final. Glatzel himself ended the competition as the top marksman with eight strikes to his name.
His form deservedly earned him a call up to Liverpool u23 side which coincided with him signing his first professional contract for the club. With this breakout academy season, it seemed like the sky was the limit for the forward. His form caught the attention of first team coach Jürgen Klopp who selected the teenager for the first team pre-season tour.Embed from Getty Images
Unfortunately for Glatzel this was to be the start of a difficult period to come. During the first pre-season fixture against Tranmere Rovers, he suffered a significant knee injury which has ruled him out until recently. This injury has tested the youngster physically and mentally, with a lack of game time a major barrier in his development and quest towards the Liverpool first team.
Since returning to the side he has thoroughly impressed during his time at Melwood when he has an opportunity with the first team. Captain Jordan Henderson has praised the youngster since his return.
“Paul has the mentality that says to all of us he is going to have a big career. He loves to score goals and seeing him back in training and looking sharp is magic,” said the skipper.
When the club captain offers out positive comments such as that, you can only wonder the potential the young Glatzel has.
After his lengthy lay off the 19-year-old has been eased back into things with Lewtas’ opting for a reserved approach to his return. His campaign thus far has consisted of two substitute appearances with a solitary goal materialising from his efforts.
Glatzel currently has some tough competition ahead of him. Canadian Liam Millar and former Manchester City academy player Joe Hardy currently hold the striking berths in a strong u23 outfit.
With his return to full fitness and slow and meticulous plan, Glatzel will be given more minutes every time he takes the pitch. Once full fitness is regained, if he can rediscover his form from 2018/19 season, he will undoubtedly become Lewtas’ first choice striker.Embed from Getty Images
Impressing, performing and consolidating his place will be first port of call, but a recall to the first team is a clear goal that the young forward is searching for. The route to Klopp’s side has just been made more difficult in recent months with the arrival of Portuguese star Diogo Jota. The ease in which he has implemented himself into the first team has further seen chances limited, with Harvey Elliott moving to Blackburn Rovers on loan to get all important game time.
However, with cult hero Divock Origi seemingly being phased out at Anfield and with Takumi Minamino yet to take his opportunities for the Premier League champions, Glatzel could stake his claim with a strong season in the u23 side.
It is more likely however, that Paul will need an impressive loan spell elsewhere, alongside a promising u23 season, before setting his sights on the first team.
He will be aiming for something similar to Rhian Brewster’s time at Swansea City last campaign. The Englishman has since moved on to pastures new at Sheffield United, but Glatzel will hope that his future remains on Merseyside as he looks to establish himself.
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