5 Liverpool Youngsters to Watch as the Reds Walk Towards the Title


Harvery Elliot

There was a lot of excitement around Anfield last summer when the Reds confirmed the signing of Fulham youngster Harvey Elliott.

He had certainly caught the eye of many during the Cottager’s sole return to the top flight during the 2018/19 season in the under 18 league, which saw him become the club’s youngest player ever to feature in the Premier League as he came off the bench in Fulham’s 0-1 defeat against Wolves.

While his game time as a senior player was very limited as the London club sank to relegation, he had certainly done enough to persuade Jurgen Klopp to move for the teenager.

The German has a track record of getting the best out of his players, especially from the youth squad, and his faith in Elliott has been rewarded during the games he has featured in so far this season for Liverpool.

While he is yet to make his Premier League debut for the Reds as of yet, he had been a key part of their progress in the FA and Carabao Cups respectively, and with the fixtures coming thick and fast and substitutions being reduced to five per game, now could be the perfect opportunity for the skilful winger to ply his trade.

Sepp Van den Berg

Another player snapped up by Klopp in the last summer transfer window, Dutchman Sepp Van den Berg began his career with Eredivisie side PEC Zwolle, graduating from their youth academy the season before.

His game time has been more restricted than Elliott’s so far during the current campaign, again yet to feature in the domestic league but did feature in the incredible 5-5 draw with Arsenal in the Carabao cup, which Liverpool then went on to win on penalties.

While he made 22 first time appearances with his former club, the centre back has made half those appearances in the under 18s league so far this season.

He is quite a long way down in the pecking order as far as Liverpool’s defenders go, but in terms of mentors he has certainly got more than enough quality to learn from.

Liverpool will no doubt rely heavily on Virgil van Dijk as they look to seal the title, and once they do get their hands on the trophy it will no doubt be the perfect opportunity for Van den Berg to step up to the plate and prove his worth in the top flight.

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Curtis Jones

Born and bred in the city of Liverpool, homegrown midfielder Curtis Jones has also impressed so far this season as he looks to break his way into the midfield trio.

He has featured twice in the Premier League so far this season, coming off the bench initially against Bournemouth for fourteen minutes as the Reds eased to a 3-0 victory, as well a five-minute cameo against West Ham in January.

A lot of Liverpool fans though will have fond memories of his time in the FA Cup Third Round against local rivals Everton, where his sublime shot in front of the Anfield Road End secured another historic victory over their blue neighbours.

This season has been his breakthrough as far as the step up from under 18 level is concerned, and also gives Klopp another midfield option if something were to happen to his first-team contenders.

He has competition from the likes of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to force his way onto the bench, but did also captain the Reds during their 2-2 draw against Shrewsbury Town also in the FA Cup.

Neco Williams

One thing that can be said about Jurgen Klopp is that he does give his young guns a chance to impress and play when the right opportunity comes about; you only need to look at the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold for evidence of that.

Welshman Williams is waiting in the wings though at right-back and could be a direct rival for Trent in the latter stages of the Premier League season.

He has already made a number of appearances in all competitions so far for the Reds, first of all against Arsenal in the aforementioned game where his cross helped to set up Divock Origi’s equaliser to make it 5-5.

The defender also assisted in both games against Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup – in the original tie where Donald Love put the ball into his own net as a result of one of Williams’ balls, and then again in the replay at Anfield where Ro-Shaun Williams netted an own goal.

Much like Elliott and Van den Berg he is yet to make the step up to Premier League level, but with Klopp renowned for his squad rotation and the massive run-in of fixtures coming up there could be opportunity of Trent is rested for one of the games.

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Caoimhín Kelleher

Liverpool have had a number of keepers in the past who have come up through the ranks at Melwood before disappearing from the club and never to be seen or heard of again.

Danny Ward, Peter Gulasci, Martin Hansen to name a few who have departed Anfield for pastures new without leaving much of an impact on the club.

They could have a real gem on their hands though in Irish shot-stopper Kelleher. Following the sale of Simon Mignolet and the arrival of Adrian in the summer, Liverpool have had a mixed bag between the sticks so far throughout the campaign.

First choice Alisson missed the opening rounds of the Premier League forcing Adrian to step up to the mark between the sticks, which meant that a third-choice keeper was needed to deputise on the bench.

Kelleher has played at cup level so far this season, but again the competition in front of him has left first team opportunities few and far between.

Alisson and Adrian will no doubt swap round at some point when the action resumes, and Kelleher could have an opportunity depending on what happens with the title race and the fixture congestion.

By Alan Faulkner


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