Create
Notifications
Advertisement

5 young British talents who could be Liverpool first-team players next season

Harvey Elliott has won medals in the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup since joining Liverpool in 2019
Harvey Elliott has won medals in the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup since joining Liverpool in 2019
Aaron Gales
ANALYST
Modified 09 Jul 2020
Feature

After missing out on Timo Werner, one of Jurgen Klopp's key transfer targets, to Chelsea, it is becoming increasingly clear that Liverpool are likely to be cautious in the transfer market ahead of the defence of their Premier League title.

Financial ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to have a huge knock-on effect on the transfer activities of the biggest football clubs in the world, and Liverpool are no different in this respect.

In other words, it means Liverpool are likely to have an increased focus on bringing through young talent to their first-team next season.

Despite a packed schedule this season, Jurgen Klopp hasn't been afraid to give young Liverpool players invaluable first-team experience, particularly in the Cup competitions.

In this article, we take a look at five of Liverpool's young British talents and assess their chances of making a first-team breakthrough at Anfield next season.

Five young British talents likely to break into Liverpool's first-team next season

#1: Rhian Brewster

Rhian Brewster has impressed since joining Swansea on loan in January
Rhian Brewster has impressed since joining Swansea on loan in January

Rhian Brewster first came to prominence as a key part of the England team that won the U17 World Cup in 2017.

Brewster scored eight goals in England's victorious campaign that included back-to-back hat-tricks in the quarterfinal against USA and semifinals against Brazil. He then scored England's opening goal in the 5-2 win over Spain in the final.

Advertisement

Since then Brewster has been a regular member of Liverpool's match day squad and has featured three times for the first team. Brewster also has winners' medals from the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup as a non-playing substitute.

In January 2020, to get more game time and experience, Brewster was loaned out to Championship side Swansea City where he was reunited with Steve Cooper who had been Brewster's England manager at age-group level.

Brewster has enjoyed an excellent spell at the Welsh club, scoring seven goals in 15 appearances. It seems strange to say that despite the success of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, it is at the top of the pitch where Liverpool undoubtedly need some strengthening.

That is because of the Premier League champions being heavily reliant on their front-three. Although Divock Origi has proved himself as an able understudy, he has never scored more than 11 goals in a season for Liverpool.

With Mane, Salah and Firmino all now 28 years old, Liverpool need some younger players to be pushing for the trio's places over the next couple of years. Early evidence would suggest that Brewster has the ability to do that.

#2: Curtis Jones

Advertisement
Curtis Jones scored a spectacular goal for Liverpool against Everton in the FA Cup.
Curtis Jones scored a spectacular goal for Liverpool against Everton in the FA Cup.

Curtis Jones has just signed a new long term contract with Liverpool and is arguably the player currently closest to establishing himself in the first-team.

In 2019-20, Jones has made nine appearances for Liverpool. During these games, he showed a real eye for goal, with three goals to his name already. The highlight of Jones' Liverpool career was his wonderful curling strike to knock Everton out of the FA Cup, which made him the youngest goal-scorer in the Merseyside derby since Robbie Fowler in 1994.

A talented runner with the ball, Jones is also excellent in possession and he would appear to be a natural successor to Jordan Henderson in the middle of the park for Liverpool. It is likely that Jones will see more and more game-time at Anfield in the next couple of seasons.

#3: Harvey Elliott

Harvey Elliott has just signed his first professional contract with Liverpool.
Harvey Elliott has just signed his first professional contract with Liverpool.
Advertisement

The youngest player in Premier League history, 17-year-old Harvey Elliott has just signed his first professional contract with Liverpool. In just one season, he has made eight appearances for the Liverpool first-team and has picked up winners' medals in the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

A stylish and tricky winger, Elliott is comfortable playing off either flank. Judging by the praise lavished on him by Jurgen Klopp this week after he penned his new deal, it won't be long before Elliott features more regularly for the Liverpool first-team.

“Harvey is such an exciting prospect. We all know his qualities. We have seen them this season in the first team and U23s."
“I love his attitude – love his enthusiasm – love his bravery – love the fact he has the right amount of football confidence and cheekiness. I think the public maybe doesn’t know the real Harvey yet and part of that is because we have looked to shield and protect him, said Klopp."

The Liverpool manager opined that Harvey Elliott deserves the space to make mistakes and learn from them.

“But he is such a nice, polite, humble boy – who is appreciative of the talent and opportunity he has – and just loves football. He loves the game first and foremost, would play every minute of every day if he could – and he loves this club also and that’s a nice mixture."
“What is critical – so important – is that he is given time and space to develop. He will get that from us. He needs to be allowed to make mistakes while he learns and not feel more pressure than is right and fair."

Advertisement

#4: Neco Williams

Neco Williams has impressed at right-back for Liverpool this season.
Neco Williams has impressed at right-back for Liverpool this season.

19-year-old right-back, Neco Williams arguably faces the biggest challenge to break into the Liverpool first-team as the outstanding Trent Alexander Arnold has made that position his own over the last three seasons.

However, Alexander Arnold's attacking threat could present a huge opportunity for Williams. With the current incumbent in the position so effective going forward, it would hardly be a surprise to see Jurgen Klopp look for a way to get Alexander Arnold higher up the pitch.

Williams looks solid in defence and particularly threatening going forward and is also excellent on the ball.

Also watching on with interest at Williams' development will be Wales manager Ryan Giggs. Williams has been capped for Wales U19's eight times, scoring four goals.

If Neco Williams keeps progressing the way he is at Liverpool, it will surely only be a matter of time before Giggs calls him up with a major tournament on the agenda in 2021.

Advertisement

#5: Ben Woodburn

Ben Woodburn is a full Welsh international, having made ten appearances and scoring twice for his country.
Ben Woodburn is a full Welsh international, having made ten appearances and scoring twice for his country.

Although his progress has been stalled somewhat by injury, there is still time for Ben Woodburn to make a breakthrough into Jurgen Klopp's first team at Liverpool.

Woodburn has enjoyed a dream start to his young career. He made his Liverpool debut in 2016-17 at just 17 years old and became their youngest ever goal-scorer after scoring in the EFL Cup Quarter final win over Leeds United. In the process, Woodburn broke the record that was previously held by Michael Owen.

He would go on to make nine appearances in total, winning Liverpool's Academy Player of the Season.

Woodburn enjoyed a similar dream start to life at international level. After breaking into Chris Coleman's team, Woodburn scored from 25 yards to secure a 1-0 win against Austria, in the process becoming Wales' second youngest ever goal-scorer.

Advertisement

Woodburn's progress has, however, slowed over the last couple of years, mostly due to injuries. His need for exposure to regular first-team football saw him loaned out to Sheffield United in 2018-19 where he played eight games before an ankle injury cut short his stint.

He subsequently spent 2019-20 on loan at Oxford United. Woodburn made a promising start to the season in an attacking midfield role, playing 13 times and scoring once. However his rotten luck with injuries continued, suffering breaks to both feet during his time at the club.

However, Woodburn has since returned to the side for the League One playoffs and has featured in both legs of the semifinal against Portsmouth, scoring Oxford's first penalty in their 6-5 penalty shootout win. He is expected to be a part of the squad that takes on Wycombe Wanderers in the final on Monday, 13 July.

Although his career hasn't progressed as many have expected, at just 20 years of age, Ben Woodburn still has every chance of making an impact at Liverpool as long as he can stay clear of injuries.

Published 09 Jul 2020, 04:39 IST
Advertisement
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now