Liverpool are reportedly set to sign Ajax full-back Ki-Jana Hoever, with the teenager poised to join the club’s academy ranks after a host of departures.
Steven Gerrard’s move to take over at Rangers, taking two of his backroom staff from the U18s with him, has already prompted a change in the dugout at Kirkby.
Barry Lewtas has stepped up into Gerrard’s place, with Marc Bridge-Wilkinson promoted into his role with the U16s, while the decision has been made that academy managers will no longer have assistants.
Youngsters Anthony Driscoll-Glennon and Jordan Hunter, regulars under Gerrard last season, were both released this summer, joining Burnley and Sunderland respectively.
Meanwhile the likes of Curtis Jones, Rafa Camacho and Rhian Brewster have all been promoted to the first-team ranks, ensuring a reshuffle at the academy this summer.
Liverpool have already signed striker Bobby Duncan from Man City and midfielder Isaac Christie-Davies from Chelsea, and according the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce and Goal‘s Neil Jones they will soon be followed by Hoever.
The 16-year-old, who can play at both right-back and left-back as well as centre-back, has already turned down offers from City, Chelsea and Man United.
He would initially join Lewtas’ U18s, but Jones claims there are plans for him to move into Neil Critchley‘s U23s squad “if he settles quickly.”
If he is earmarked for a role under Critchley this would highlight his vast potential, as at just 16 he would be the youngest player in the squad.
The U23s already have Adam Lewis, Tony Gallacher, Neco Williams and Juanma for the full-back roles, however, while Anderson Arroyo will join once he acquires a work permit.
Hoever could provide competition for Williams on the right flank, though, with Critchley’s other options predominantly left-sided.
But Lewtas is currently light at full-back at U18 level, which could provide Hoever with a clearer pathway to impressing on Merseyside.