Liverpool Youth and Reserve Team Players to Keep Track of This Season
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Liverpool are currently a team on the up, and one clear sign of that resurgence is the plethora of emerging talent which manager Brendan Rodgers can now call upon at Anfield going forward, the most promising of who we will identity here.
The Northern Irishman has already shown great faith in the Reds’ youth and reserve-team players since he first arrived on Merseyside last June, with Rodgers handing first-team opportunities to a number of starlets in his debut campaign at the club.
In fact, last season Raheem Sterling featured in 36 matches in total under Rodgers, in the process making his debut for England in a friendly international in Sweden last November at the age of just 17.
Meanwhile compatriot Andre Wisdom was also handed his first-team debut by the Liverpool boss on his way to racking up 19 appearances in all competitions for the Reds in the previous campaign, as was 17-year-old wide man Jordan Ibe, who made his first-ever start for Liverpool in their final Premier League game of last season against Queens Park Rangers.
And already so far in the new campaign, all three Englishmen have been involved in the Reds’ Premier League match-day squad, however, who are the next batch of promising youngsters threatening to make the step up to the first team?
Bought for £1 million last summer from Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen, this Germany Under-19 international arrived at Anfield with a burgeoning reputation as being one of Europe’s most prolific and deadly young front men.
However, having made his senior debut for the Reds in the Carling Cup against West Bromwich Albion last September, Yesil then suffered knee ligament damage while away on international duty with the German U19s in February.
As a result, the forward may need to be given some more time before he regains his sharpness in front of goal with the reserves this season, but do not be surprised to perhaps see the German force his way on to the substitutes’ bench again later on in this campaign.
Joao Carlos Teixeira
Position: attacking midfield
The highly rated Portuguese arrived on Merseyside in February 2012 from Sporting Lisbon, with many back in his homeland likening the 20-year-old to former Barcelona playmaker Deco.
However, initially Teixeira was troubled by a back injury that prevented him featuring for the U21 side until last season, when the youngster shone in a central midfield role with his eye-catching dribbling skills and outstanding range of passing.
And there is no doubting that Teixeira is one for the future at Liverpool, with the player sharing many similarities in his game to Spanish playmaker Suso, who has been sent out on loan to Liga outfit Almeria this season, with both youngsters potential Reds No 10’s further down the line.
Position: right back
First came to prominence on Liverpool’s preseason tour of North America at the start of Rodgers’ reign as Reds head coach last year (see above), when the attack-minded defender caught the eye with a number of exciting cameos in the right-back role for the Reds.
And McLaughlin built on those promising displays with the first team by starring for the U21s last season, with the 18-year-old exhibiting power, pace and poise on the ball on the right-hand side of defence.
However, whether the right back will be able to leapfrog Jon Flanagan in the pecking order at Anfield this season and break into the first-team setup is doubtful, although it will not be too long before he does make the step up.
There is already a great buzz around Anfield whenever the name of this precious young forward is mentioned, and with good reason too.
The England U17 international, signed from West Bromwich Albion as a 14-year-old in the summer of 2011, made his first-team debt when coming on as a late substitute against the Baggies in the League Cup last September and in the process breaking Robinson’s record as the youngest-ever player to represent the club aged 16 years and six days.
Initially starting out his career as a winger, Sinclair has since been converted into a front man, with the 16-year-old blessed with both searing pace and a natural eye for goal, the Englishman is most certainly one to keep an eye out for this season and beyond.
A young, powerful and dynamic central midfield player who has already caught the eye of the likes of former Liverpool legends Jamie Carragher and John Aldridge, while another ex-Reds star, Robbie Fowler, has even go as far as likening the 16-year-old to current club captain Steven Gerrard.
And with Rossiter known for his driving runs from midfield, long-range shooting and all-round pace and strength in the centre of the park, perhaps there may be life after “Stevie G” at Anfield after all.
Christopher Lee/Getty Images
Position: centre back
Hugely promising central defender with the world at his feet and by all reports a great opportunity to make it at Liverpool going forward if he continues the progress he has already made at the club since arriving from Plymouth Argyle two years ago.
Lloyd was a fixture in the Reds U18 side last season, displaying great power and skill for someone so young, while the young defender also made a name for himself after netting a brace against Hull City on the way to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals.
Definitely has the potential to be a first-team centre back at some point in the future, but may have to wait a few more years though to further hone his defensive skills.