Jurgen Klopp's Master Plan: Trusting In The Youth.
With Jurgen Klopp extending his Liverpool contract until 2026, it is crucial that Liverpool have a long term plan in place. They can’t stand still & continue to use the same players that have provided the fans with incredible memories throughout the years. Liverpool’s first team already has a few gems within it who will undoubtedly be a huge part of this rebuild. But who are they?
Harvey Elliott is a stand out name when thinking of Liverpool’s youngsters. After signing from Fulham back in 2019, he started off playing his football in Liverpool’s under 23 side. The summer after, he was loaned out to Blackburn at 17 years old. Despite his young age, Elliott was able to rack up 7 goals & 12 assists in 43 appearances. This fine form obviously raised a few eyebrows amongst the Liverpool fans. When Elliott returned to Liverpool for pre season, Klopp had a big surprise in store. Instead of using him at his natural right wing position, Elliott was used in central midfield & took to his new position like duck to water. After a successful pre season, Elliott was ready to play first team football for Liverpool. Klopp started him in 3 successive games against Burnley, Chelsea & Leeds. A freak injury after a collision with Pascal Strujiik unfortunately resulted in Elliott being sidelined for 5 months due to a dislocated ankle. With Liverpool not signing a midfielder as of yet in the summer transfer window, it is clear exactly how highly Jurgen Klopp rates Harvey Elliott. He will definitely play a huge part for the reds this coming season & years to come in that right central midfield spot. Harvey Elliott was also ranked 5th in goal.com’s NXGN top 50 wonder kids in Europe.
Another youngster who is set to play a big role in Liverpool’s side this coming season is Fabio Carvalho. The 19 year old Portugal U21 international signed for the reds from Fulham this summer. It is unclear on where Klopp plans to utilise him, but what we do know is that Carvalho offers versatility. Carvalho is naturally a left winger, but was used as a number 10 at Fulham. With Liverpool offloading the likes of Sadio Mane, Takumi Minamino & Divock Origi, Carvalho’s versatility will come in clutch this season. Carvalho has already put in two impressive performances on Liverpool’s pre season tour, which has caused excitement amongst the Liverpool supporters. There has also been some suggestion that Carvalho may be deployed as a central midfielder in the future, but for now it seems that he will play in the positions that he knows best. This signing is a big one for the reds as Carvalho will be an important part of the team for both now, and years to come.
Kaide Gordon is another potential star in the making. Signing from Wayne Rooney’s Derby County at the age of 16, Gordon has already made a few appearances for Liverpool. Whilst at Derby, Rooney labelled him as one of the best 16 year olds in the country. Gordon is an exciting winger who started off his football at Liverpool in their under 18’s side. However, due to many impressive performances, he was fast tracked to the Under 23 side. His senior debut came in the Carabao Cup away to Norwich City & shortly after that he became Liverpool’s youngest ever goal scorer in the FA Cup after scoring his first Liverpool goal against Shrewsbury Town. Hopefully this season Gordon kicks on & is featured more in the cup tournaments. You’d expect to see him more after the departure of Takumi Minamino. Kaide Gordon was ranked at 40th in goal.com NXGN top 50 wonder kids in Europe. Keep an eye on him!
Oakley Cannonier could be another youth prospect on the brink of some first team minutes. Cannonier is currently playing in the Under 18’s, but is definitely ready for a promotion to the Under 23’s. The young English forward signed for Liverpool from Leeds United whilst playing at Under 12 level. Last season was his most successful season at the club so far scoring 41 goals across all competitions. His most famous moment so far for Liverpool is throwing the ball to Alexander-Arnold for the corner taken quickly against Barcelona, but don’t expect that to be his last big moment for the club!
Bobby Clarke signed for Liverpool from Newcastle United back in August 2021. The 17 year old signed his first professional contract with Liverpool in February 2022. Clarke is able to function anywhere across the front line & ended up scoring 13 goals across all competitions last season. Clarke has featured in both of Liverpool’s pre season outings so far against Manchester United & Crystal Palace. For a 17 year old to be away with the first team squad during pre season will only be a massive boost for the youngster. Hopefully we will see more from Bobby Clarke during the remainder of the pre season tour.
Isaac Mabaya is another youth prospect that has featured in both of Liverpool’s pre season games so far. The Preston born 17 year old has been at the club since the age of 6, signing his first professional contract back in September 2021. Mabaya can play as a midfielder or right back which could be handy for Liverpool in the future. Mabaya was at fault for Manchester United’s first goal in Bangkok, but he didn’t let that error get to him. Mabaya impressed many Liverpool fans with his attacking intent during the game. Mabaya has received a lot of praise already on the Liverpool official website, where there has been talk of him potentially becoming the heir to James Milner. Another very exciting player that Liverpool fans should definitely be keeping their eye on.
Liverpool are stacked with young talent across the first team right down to the academy. Like previously mentioned, this is going to be key for the Jurgen Klopp ‘rebuild’ that we may see within the next couple of years.