Mawia, Chhangte, Njoku & Ejike – Liverpool to strengthen U18s ranks with quadruple signing

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A pair of signings from both India and Nigeria could see Liverpool strengthen their U18s ranks as the Reds’ youth overhaul continues.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, March 21, 2014: Liverpool's Under-18's manager Neil Critchley and former Liverpool player Rob Jones, now working with the LFC Academy, before the Under 21 FA Premier League match against Newcastle United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have cast their net wide in the search for the world’s best young talent in recent seasons, with the likes of Taiwo Awoniyi, Bobby Adekanye and Brooks Lennon added to the ranks.

This looks set to continue ahead of 2016/17, with four young stars linked with moves to Merseyside.

The club’s Indian football academy, DSK Shivajians, has seen two players leave on trial at Liverpool, in Lallianzuala Chhangte and Jerry Mawia.

Chhangte is India’s youngest-ever goalscorer and a regular fixture in Stephen Constantine’s national team, and at 18 could develop into useful midfielder for U18s manager Neil Critchley.

Mawia is a fleet-footed attacker with a powerful long-range strike who, at 19, could be moved straight into Michael Beale’s U21s side if his trial is successful.

Meanwhile, Nigeria agent Babawo Mohammed has revealed that two of his young stars are the subject of interest from the Reds.

Chidera Ejike is referred, rather flatteringly, to as the “next Iniesta” by, with Mohammed suggesting that the 18-year-old, currently on the books at the Gee-Lec Football Academy, was set to go on trial on Merseyside.

Ejike could be joined by a fellow countryman in Jacob Njoku, who is free to join the Reds next month, on the expiry of his contract with United Arab Emirates side Al Oruba.

Formerly of Porto, Njoku is described as an “offensive all-rounder” who would require a European loan before gaining a work permit to play in England.

This is similar to the situation faced by last summer’s Brazilian midfield signing Allan Rodrigues, with the 19-year-old currently on loan with Belgian Pro League side Sint-Truiden.

In November, academy director Alex Inglethorpe revealed that his approach had changed to “wanting a specific level of quality in each age group,” and this four-strong group could see this continue.

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