Liverpool FC: Reds Announce Partnership Plans with Uruguayan Giants
Damien Comolli has today announced that Liverpool are in talks with Club Nacional de Football to begin a partnership between the clubs that would see Liverpool having the first option on the Uruguayan giant's future young stars as he begins the next stage of his player recruitment drive by strengthening Liverpool's youth ranks.
Following the transfer between the clubs of Sebastian Coates, the two parties have remained in talks as they look to build a close relationship between their respective clubs which would see both sides benefit in both a talent and financial capacity.
As well as Coates, Nacional can also lay claim to having developed Liverpool's star striker Luis Suarez, who first made his name with the Montevideo club before moving to Groningen in 2006.
Other current Uruguayan internationals that have come through the Nacional ranks include defender Diego Lugano, who recently joined Paris St. Germain, and highly-rated attacker Nicolas Lodeiro of Ajax.
Perhaps the most famous graduate of the Nacional academy is Daniel Fonseca, the marvelous left-sided attacker who lit up Seria A for Cagliari, Napoli, Roma and Juventus between 1990 and 2000 and would perhaps have become one of the world's great players had it not been for misfortune with injury during his spell at Roma.
This potential link-up between the clubs will give Liverpool a direct line into some of the very best talent coming out of South America, and with the Reds' funding behind them, Nacional will be able to expand their search for young talent and look to bring in top youngsters from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and elsewhere.
As Comolli mentioned in his statement, of the 23 players in the Uruguayan squad which won the recent Copa America, 14 have played for Nacional at one stage or another. This shows that the club are not only active in terms of securing teenage talent, but also up and coming players who have already broken through elsewhere.
Diego Godin and Fernando Muslera are two prime examples of players that spent time with Nacional having come through the ranks elsewhere.
With the new Financial Fair Play rules set to be introduced to English football next summer, a productive academy is going to be a key aspect for any club who wishes to be competitive moving forward.
Liverpool already have a fantastic academy thanks to the vision of former manager Rafa Benitez, but they are still a long way short of Barcelona and Ajax, who unquestionably have the two best run and most productive academies in world football today.
This partnership can take Liverpool one step closer to matching Barca and Ajax in that capacity, and Comolli will surely not be stopping there as he takes on FSG's mission statement of creating a Liverpool for not just the present, but also with a clear focus on the long-term future.
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