The Barclays Premier League Crown has eluded Liverpool FC for far too long. However, the players signed recently and a couple of good results have given the Anfield faithful a reason to believe this year. A real reason to believe we can top England again. However, some of our most important players—most notably Steven Gerrard—are getting on in years. Who will replace our team in the future? Will our Academy produce more greats?
The scary thing about this article from a personal level is that some players I will pick are, in some cases, only two years older than myself!
The majority of the players mentioned are from Liverpool academy, but you'll have heard of most of them!
But, mid-teen crisis aside, here is a team I feel could win the League in 2020.
The best goalkeeper in the League recently will kick things off with a place in goal. I was torn between Gulacsi and Reina but I opted to go with Reina due to a lesson learnt from Edwin van der Sar. Van der Sar was playing the best football of his career in his last couple of seasons, when he was in his late thirties. In 2020, Pepe Reina will be 37, and while it is a risk playing him, I don't see any reason why he can't be as good as, if not better than the ex-United stopper.
While Doni and Gulacsi will be left fighting it out in the future, I think Reina will outshine both and keep a starting spot.
Despite a bad couple of recent weeks for Liverpool, John Flanagan isn't a bad player at 18 years old. Nine years on, in 2020, Flanagan will be 27 and hopefully in the prime of his career in terms of fitness and in terms of ability due to experience.
He will have the full backing of the crowd and with the nourishment of the Liverpool team, he'll cut out mistakes.
Martin Kelly will be at his peak during the 2020 season, with valuable experience. Hopefully Kelly will remain injury-free, and if he keeps on improving, he can be as good as Jamie Carragher. Danny Wilson has captained the U19 Scotland side, and has impressed to such a degree that even the Alan Hansen level is seen as a target for the young 19-year-old.
Hopefully the pair will be integrated into the squad soon so as to forge a solid partnership. These two will be instrumental if Liverpool are to win the League in 2020.
The youngster remains the youngest player to represent Liverpool. Robinson is quick, yet strong and determined. His ball skills are simular to those of Fabio Aurelio, a player who had potential but never unleashed it onto the biggest stage.
Hopefully Robinson can remain injury-free, and can defend admirably while assisting with crosses.
Conor Coady has been dubbed the new Steven Gerrard by many. His composed style and leadership qualities obtained by various captaincy opportunities have seen the young midfielder become one of Liverpool's shining prospects.
In my opinion, despite being compared to Gerrard, Coady fits better into the mould of Xabi Alonso. Keep calm, pass the ball on.
Coady would be responsible for breaking up attacks, but also assisting them and cashing in with a few goals. In fact, I'd say he'd be tasked as becoming the upgraded version of Lucas Leiva.
Like a few others on this list, Jonjo Shelvey is only a couple of years my senior. At 19, Shelvey is another midfielder that has been likened to Steven Gerrard, as all promising midfielders seem to be.
Jonjo Shelvey has come under criticism following some disappointing performances, but if he can learn more, he can definitely flourish.
Shelvey holds the record for being Charlton Athletic's youngest player and goalscorer. He is also currently captain of the England U19 side. Hopefully he can add some more honours to his cabinet with Liverpool.
Raheem Sterling is my favourite Academy player. He has become a great wing prospect, with a sweet strike of a football and an uncanny ability to beat players time and time again. Raheem Sterling has an unerring eye for the goal, an ability that has seen the youngster score again and again. Last year, Sterling was called up to the First Team for an away match in the Europa League.
A scary thought—Raheem Sterling is the same age as me at 16.
Come 2020, he'll still be young, at 25!
Young signing Jordan Henderson is being treated in a way that reminds me of Lucas Leiva. Constantly criticised, ridiculed and questioned, Henderson has endured a bad start to his Liverpool career. But then, look how Lucas turned out.
Liverpool fans must remember that Henderson has played only two competitive games for Liverpool, one of which was against his former club for his first game at home, the other of course being away at the Emirates. I'm sorry, but games don't get much tougher than that.
Yes, he has been giving away possession at times. Yes, he is a little excited when on the ball. But does that warrant the treatment he's been given? No, no it doesn't.
Henderson will be at his peak in 2020 at 29 years of age. He will have matured into a great player, I'm almost certain of it. All Henderson needs is time, support and a goal at Anfield to kick his career off.
As Neri Stein reminded me, Kenny is paying for talent and potential. Who was responsible for the Liverpool turnaround? Kenny Dalglish. Kenny Dalglish has invested in a bright young prospect, and I urge all of you to trust his judgement. Rant over.
Dani Pacheco has endured a painful start to his career, being shipped out consistenty to ply his trade elsewhere. But the matter remains the youngster has talent, and he is Spanish. Or is it that he has talent because he is Spanish?" I don't know.
However due to Dalglish's youth policy, I think Pacecho may feature regularly quite soon. In 2020, he'll be 28, so he's just about perfect.
Luis Suarez has an effective game due to pace and skill. At 33 in 2020, Suarez may suffer from a lack of pace and therefore be less effective. Andy Carroll has been directly replaced by Michael Ngoo as both have similar games.
Adam Morgan has been in the form of his life recently. His finishing assured and movement deadly, Morgan may well be the new Fernando Torres. A loyal one, too.
Lucas Leiva: At 33, he'll be calm and composed, hopefully!
Andy Carroll: He'll be 30 years of age, but still tall and talented.
Tom Ince: He'll have developed into a good midfielder, I hope.
Alexander Doni: Just in case!
Suso: A towering forward, similar to Andy Carroll.
Eccleston: A fantastic winger and impact player who may start most games.
Let's hope we win the League before 2020, but if we don't, here's hoping this team can do it for us! Like I said, some of the mentioned players will be featuring quite soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
I realise that new signings will also be a part of that squad, but if Liverpool take the Arsene Wenger route and go for homegrown talent, there's the team I'd pick. Funnily enough, the starting 11 is all English besides Reina!
Maybe Jamie Carragher will be part of the Liverpool staff by then! Who knows?
It has been very difficult writing this one, researching each player and then building a side, so please take that into account before slaughtering any choices. Again, thanks to Neri Stein for help with the Jordan Henderson slide.
Thanks for reading, hope you liked it!