Brendan’s Youngsters

2 Aug

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Brendan’s Youngsters

 

Brendan Rodgers gave a number of Liverpool’s youngsters their chance in the first team last season to the delight of many supporters. With the coverage on Liverpool’s TV channel nowadays, Liverpool supporters can watch most youth games on TV and most supporters are excited by the talent that they see coming through the ranks, so it was extremely pleasing to see so many youngsters make an impression in the first team last season.

 

The likes of Andre Wisdom, Raheem Sterling and Suso to name but a few, featured quite a lot last season as Brendan Rodgers put his faith in them.

 

But did he really feel they were ready for the first team or did he just play them because he was left short of options after a poor summer transfer window. Rodgers lost a vast amount of experience last summer with Dirk Kuyt, Craig Bellamy and Maxi Rodriguez all leaving for one reason or another, so Rodgers was left with a threadbare squad.

 

But Rodgers did play his younger squad members in place of some more experienced players and some big money signings from King Kenny’s reign. Big money signings Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson in particular found it difficult to get much game time in the early part of last season.

 

Rodgers’ use of the youngsters seemed to be the kick up the backside the likes of Henderson and Downing needed as they fought their way back into the team later in the season. But the addition of Sturridge and Coutinho and now this summer’s signings could make it difficult for the youngsters to feature much this coming season.

 

Liverpool have just finished their summer pre-season tour with many younger players receiving a great deal of experience by being included in the trip. But what will the new season bring as Rodgers now shapes his team into the team that he is looking for with his own signings.

 

It was the same when Dalglish took over from Roy Hodgson, when Dalglish selected youngsters like Jon Flanagan, Jack Robinson, Spearing and Shelvey in his team before he could bring in his own players in the summer, then opportunities were far fewer.

 

I fear the same could happen next season to the likes of Wisdom, Sterling and Liverpool’s newest sensation Jordan Ibe. Many youngsters get a taste of first team action but then fall out of the reckoning as clubs like Liverpool frequently spend money in the transfer market.

 

Many players leave for pastures new like the talented Tom Ince as opportunities are limited and many players go out on loan which is great experience, but will they come back to Liverpool and become regular first team players on their return ? Time will tell.

 

Just as I started writing this article I’ve just heard that Jack Robinson is off to Blackpool on loan. Robinson is a player I rate highly and I thought he might feature more regularly this season in the first team. Conor Coady is another cracking prospect who is out on loan at Sheffield United, as is Suso who impressed many times early last season.

 

It will be interesting to see what happens to Liverpool’s youngsters as Rodgers has assembled a stronger squad than last season. Rodgers is a believer in giving youth a chance and if you are good enough it shouldn’t matter your age, just take a look at Messi and how many games he has played already.

 

Supporters have to trust the management with their treatment of the younger players as impatience to see them play is common. But there is a crop of young talent at Liverpool just now and although some are learning their trade at other clubs, the theory is that they will come back to Liverpool better players and be more beneficial to the team.

 

Liverpool have not been blessed with such promising young talent for many years and if this crop of youngsters fullfill their promise then Liverpool will be a better team for it. The future is bright for Liverpool Football Club and I think they have the right man in Brendan Rodgers to mature those youngsters into important players for Liverpool.

 

 

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