Liverpool have a good crop of young players that are looking to make an impact at Anfield this season. Ryan Kent, Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold just to name a few. Having young players come through and make an impact in the first team is a very exciting process to witness as a fan but with that comes an expectation that is too much for some prospects. The likes of Connor Coady, Jay Spearing and Jordan Rossiter have all been labelled the next Gerrard in the past, only for their careers to deflate in the lower echelons of the football league and the SPL.
In this article, I will go through the young prospects that will be looking to make an impact in the coming season in the first team.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is a right back that is putting serious pressure on Nathanial Clyne’s first team place. Since Clyne’s injury earlier in pre-season, the 18-year-old has spent a large majority of his life playing for Liverpool having joined the academy when he was just 6 years old. In the 2014/15 season he captained the under 16 side, he moved up to the under 18s debut in 2014 and went on to captain that side under Neil Critchley and by the end of 2015 at 17 years old he signed his first professional contract at Liverpool FC. Alexander-Arnold is likely going to start the season as Liverpool’s first choice right back due to Clyne’s injury and it will be a wonderful thing to have an actual scouser back in the side. A big few performances at the start of this season and Clyne may struggle to force his way back into the side.
Ben Woodburn is Liverpool’s youngest ever goal scorer having scored in the EFL cup last season, breaking the record that Michael Owen held for over 19 years. Ben Woodburn has made regular appearances in pre-seasons for the past couple of years, grabbing a few goals in the process. This pre-season Klopp has started playing him in a midfield role. Getting Woodburn familiar in several positions will be very important in giving the player as much opportunity as possible in the first team. The greater versatility, the more games that Woodburn will play. The coming season will not be the be all and end all for him, I expect him to have a couple more years of being on the outside of the first team looking in for the majority of games, but the fact that Klopp doesn’t seem to want him to be loaned out to other clubs tells me that he wants him to be in and around the first team and that his future is firmly in the Liverpool red.
Ryan Kent was born in Oldham in 1996 and joined the reds at the age of 7. He has spent most of his professional career on loan at various clubs in the football pyramid. Having impressed in the Pre-Season tour of Asia in 2015, He then spent a half-season loan to Coventry City where he made 17 appearances over that period. Last season he went on a further loan to Championship side Barnsley. At 21 now he will be looking to playing a few games this year and if last night’s performance is anything to go by he is more than capable. If he doesn’t get into the first team this season though, I’m not sure he ever will.
Joe Gomez was signed under the regime of Brendan Rodgers in June of 2015 from Charlton Athletic where he was highly rated and sought after by many of the big clubs. However, Liverpool managed to secure his signature and he started off on the right foot by making an immediate impression on the first team with a few impressive performances. A serious knee injury has halted his progress for Liverpool and when it seemed like he was getting back to full fitness he was struck down by Injury again. Hopefully this time he will have a bit of luck and be able to live up to the immense potential he has showed in his performances to the reds thus far.