Brendan Rodgers has played down fears that Liverpool‘s growing squad will prevent chances for young players to break through to the first team.
With Jon Flanagan and Raheem Sterling breaking into the first team from youth level over the last year, there are more academy and Under-21 prospects fans are itching to see progress.
Rodgers says that young players have as good a chance as ever of making the grade, despite the larger squad size.
“I don’t think it’s more difficult for young players here now,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“In fact I think there will never be a greater chance if you have the responsibility and if you have the talent.
“Young players will never have a better opportunity at any club than at Liverpool.
“New players coming in here won’t stand in their way. If a young player is performing he will play. I will always look to young players.”
Rodgers also explained that he believes young players provide exciting competition for senior players, whilst experienced is give their footballing education back in return.
He cited the success of 19-year-old Sterling and new signing, 20-year-old Javier Manquillo, as examples of how Liverpool are very much still looking to youth, despite the amount of money being spent.
“Look at Raheem and what he’s achieved since he broke into the side,” Rodgers added. “He’s only 19 but is maintaining his place. If other players here have that quality then they will play.
“Javier Manquillo is only 20 but after arriving here he went straight into the team because he showed up so well in training and in the Borussia Dortmund game. He will feature heavily for us this season.
“It’s never about the age for me, it’s about the talent and the commitment to playing.”
But do enough players make the step up from U21s to first team? PJ Vaughan wrote this excellent piece this week exploring just that.
Who will be the next Liverpool youngster to step up to become a regular first team player? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.