Liverpool youth academy director Alex Inglethorpe has given some interesting background to the club’s use of football’s loan system, particularly in developing young players.
The Reds have 11 players out on loan for the rest of 2014/15, including young players in Luis Alberto (Malaga), Andre Wisdom (West Brom), Divock Origi (Lille), Tiago Ilori (Bordeaux), Brad Smith (Swindon Town), Joao Carlos Teixeira (Brighton), Rafa Paez (Bologna) and Jordon Ibe (Derby County).
Speaking to the club’s official website, Inglethorpe explained that the opportunity to send players on loan to other clubs allows them to gain valuable experience that vital to their development.
He also revealed that the club carefully select the clubs they believe will nurture Liverpool’s stars of the future.
“We have a wishlist of clubs, and managers, who we think are particularly strong in the area of youth development,” said Inglethorpe.
“The important thing is that when a player goes on loan, he is going to an environment which will teach similar things to what he would be learning at Liverpool.
“There are a lot more clubs in the Football League now who are committed to a philosophy and a way of playing which is conducive to youth development, and the loan system is something which enables us to tap into that.
“There is no shame in a 19 or 20-year-old being unable to crack the Liverpool first team straight away, so that is when the loan system comes in.”
21-year-old Wisdom enjoyed a successful loan spell at Derby last season, and his loan to fellow Premier League club West Brom this year can only be of benefit to the Reds.
Derby’s positive handling of Wisdom has lead to Liverpool to loaning 18-year-old starlet Jordon Ibe to Steve McLaren’s side this season, whilst former Liverpool defender and now Brighton manager Sami Hyypia is mentoring highly-rated Teixeira.
Inglethorpe added, “If there isn’t a chance for boys in particular seasons, then they may need to go on loan and adapt somewhere else, and arm their footballing CV with something more than just U21 football, which will then suggest to the manager that they are ready to be given a chance, and to take it.
“We’ve already had a bit of success with the system, and we expect there will be more in the coming years too.”
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