Whilst the alterations to Liverpool’s first team continue to dominate headlines during the long summer months when fans aren’t able to watch their club in meaningful action, the Reds are also keeping an eye on the future too.
Manager Brendan Rodgers will see players come and players go before the Anfield club are back on the pitch, but keeping an eye on the players in Liverpool’s youth teams also has to be a priority.
The Reds are not averse to scouring the globe for the best young players who could potentially save them millions in the transfer market, and so often in the recent past that search has taken them to Spain.
According to a report from the Spanish newspaper Vavel Espana, reproduced here on the 101 Great Goals website, the Reds are set to sign a 16-year-old midfielder from Valencia by the name of Pedro Chirivella. But just who is he?
Just like players such as Daniel Ayala, Dani Pacheco and Suso who came to Merseyside before him, Chirivella has starred at youth level in his native country, even attracting favourable comparisons with Spain and Barcelona star Sergio Busquets.
Such words are incredibly premature, of course, but the youngster is clearly highly thought of in his homeland given that he has donned the captain’s armband for the Spain under-16s team in the past.
A huge level of perspective has to be placed on any move for him, of course.
Chirivella only turned 16 two-and-a-half weeks ago, and so whilst it is true to say that Liverpool and Rodgers fielded two 17-year-olds in Premier League matches last season in Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe, the Spanish youngster would still be some way off making an immediate impact should he arrive.
However, Rodgers did make forward Jerome Sinclair Liverpool’s youngest ever first-team player in a Capital One Cup tie at West Bromwich Albion last season, and given that Sinclair was younger then than Chirivella is now, perhaps we are doing the midfielder a disservice in suggesting that he won’t be able to make an immediate impact.
A season with Liverpool’s youth team―probably alongside Sinclair―would beckon for the midfielder should he sign, though, and so whilst comparisons with some of the great players Valencia have let go in recent years will have to wait a while, Chirivella could instead focus on continuing his development in another country.
As this goal for Spain’s under-16s against their Czech counterparts shows, the midfielder appears to have a willingness to break into the box and look to get on the end of moves, a quality that will only be encouraged under the guidance of Liverpool’s youth coaches.
As the Vavel Espana report indicates, the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City have both been sniffing around the young talent for quite some time, and so if Liverpool do strike a deal for the midfielder, they will have worked very hard to do so.
The next spell of hard work would have to come from Chirivella himself, but if he shows his willingness to do that, Rodgers will have no hesitation in giving him a chance in the future―the likes of Sterling, Ibe, Sinclair and others are testament to that.
Any talk of a potential first-team bow should be way off, though, with Chirivella simply acting as another quality addition to Liverpool’s youth ranks should he complete his move.
He is one for the future, and one who looks capable of making that future bright.