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U21s goalkeeper Ryan Fulton joins Portsmouth on loan for rest of the season

Promising Liverpool academy goalkeeper Ryan Fulton has joined Portsmouth on loan for the rest of the season.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, February 28, 2013: Liverpool's goalkeeper Ryan Fulton warms-up before the FA Youth Cup 5th Round match against Leeds United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fulton has made 10 appearances for the under-21s this season, as Michael Beale’s first-choice goalkeeper.

But the 19-year-old has now joined Pompey on a youth loan until the end of 2015/16.

Reports from Portsmouth suggest Fulton could even start their home game against Oxford United on Saturday.

Regarded as one of the finest prospects in Liverpool’s academy, Fulton will gain considerable experience on loan with a lower-league side.

We’ve witnessed already this season how the likes of Ryan Kent, Sheyi Ojo and Kevin Stewart have benefited from loan moves at Football League clubs.

However, such use of the loan system potentially jars with first-team manager Jurgen Klopp‘s, as he explained in his press conference after Wednesday night’s 3-0 win at home to Exeter City.

“A month ago when I said we need to have all of our best players here at Liverpool FC, [Ryan] Kent was on loan, [Sheyi] Ojo was on loan, [Kevin] Stewart was on loan, Tiago [Ilori] was on loan,” he said.

“We need to keep them here and work with them, because football is not about individual development.

“Yes, you have to develop individually but you have to develop as a team.”

CHARLOTTE, USA - Friday, August 1, 2014: Liverpool's goalkeeper Danny Ward during a training session at the Bank of America Stadium on day twelve of the club's USA Tour. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Earlier this week we ran an interview with Under-21s coach Beale who explained why the club use the loan system.

“There’s a statistic that only three to four percent of current Premier League players made their debut after the age of 19, that’s not making their debut in the Premier League, but making their professional debut somewhere before that age,” he explained.

Fulton’s move will allow Andrew Firth to get more playing time with the under-21s, and also mean new signing Kamal Grabara has more opportunity after arriving this month.

Liverpool this month recalled Danny Ward from loan at Aberdeen, with the Welshman seemingly ahead of Adam Bogdan now having been named on the bench against Arsenal and Man United. Ward may get an opportunity in the FA Cup fourth round against West Ham.

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