WIGAN, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 17, 2016: Liverpool's Ryan Kent in action against Wigan Athletic during a pre-season friendly match at the DW Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ryan Kent set for summer loan move as Liverpool plot academy reshuffle

Liverpool academy winger Ryan Kent is set to head departures from the club’s youth ranks this summer, leaving Merseyside on loan.

The 19-year-old played a major role in the Reds’ first four pre-season friendlies, with 180 minutes in total across clashes with Tranmere Rovers, Fleetwood Town, Wigan Athletic and Huddersfield Town.

But as Jurgen Klopp took his squad to the US to continue preparations for 2016/17, Kent was left on Merseyside, instead linking up with Michael Beale’s U23s squad.

Klopp opted to include academy youngsters Shamal George, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria, underlining Kent’s position this summer.

After starring as Beale’s side won 4-1 away to Rhyl FC on Sunday, scoring the third goal in a 4-1 rout at the Belle Vue, Kent is now set to leave Liverpool on loan.

That is according to the Liverpool Echo‘s Andy Kelly, who says that Kent will likely be followed by Lloyd Jones and Jack Dunn, among others.

This comes as Beale remoulds his academy side ahead of the revamped Premier League 2, which will see a more competitive landscape, with the age limit rising to 23, and allowing three over-age outfield players as well as an over-23 goalkeeper.

Kent is said to be attracting widespread interest this summer, with Barnsley his most likely destination at this stage.

Another spell away from Merseyside may be disappointing for the young winger, who aspires to establish himself under Klopp in the first team, but Beale believes it would be beneficial.

“A loan for Ryan would be really important, you can see he’s got lots of talent,” he said, “you’ve seen that in the four games for the first team.”

Klopp already has Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic and Sheyi Ojo vying for a starting place in Kent’s natural right-wing role, while Georginio Wijnaldum can also deputise on the flanks.

This leaves Kent at an impasse, and as Beale attests, a loan move would be wise.

Beale is likely to welcome a host of younger faces into his U23s ranks for the new season, with Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn among those potentially making the step up from the U18s.

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