Liverpool FC: Bright Future as Reds Land American Starlet Villyan Bijev

Ricky SantillanContributor IISeptember 7, 2011

Liverpool's transfer activity this summer has been far from mundane, with the likes of Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adams, Doni, Stewart Downing, Jose Enrique, Sebastian Coates and Craig Bellamy joining Liverpool's first team.

Yet there is one signing in particular not many Reds supporters know about. 

Villyan Bijev is an 18-year-old American footballer of Bulgarian descent from Fresno, California coming through the already prestigious California Odyssey Development Program in the United States. He also has been an integral player for the U.S. under-18 national side.

With Bijev impressing at Liverpool's youth academy trials over the summer, scouts and coaches alike were very impressed as he scored a hat-trick and set up a clever assist. Liverpool soon penned him to a three-year contract and a two-year option.

Though Bijev was quickly loaned out to Fortuna Dusseldorf of Germany currently playing in the second tier of German football in search of playing time and further development.

German football offers Bijev to finely tone his technical ability prowess considering Germany puts extensive emphasis on the technical side of football. 

Bijev has an array of talent possessing great skill, movement off the ball and superb one-on-one abilities. His intricate passing and vision is also very impressive as he can play as a central midfielder and as a striker.

I personally know Bijev's talent first-hand, having known him since I was 10 years old during grade school. We were teammates from 2008 to 2010 throughout high school, where he continued to show his tremendous potential.

The video at the right shows his immense talent while for his California development team at the age of 16, though Liverpool blocked his magnificent recent youth academy trial video that surfaced on the Internet in late July right after the Reds signed him. 

Liverpool's academy is a terrific place for Bijev to hone his skills as many great footballers have come through the academy and had success throughout their careers. Most recently Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Steve Mcmanaman and Michael Owen were all homegrown players.

Bijev has a bright future ahead of him, both for the U.S. national side and Liverpool. Liverpool have undoubtedly uncovered a star for the future.

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