NAPLES, ITALY - Wednesday, October 3, 2018: Liverpool's Bobby Adekanye (L) celebrates scoring the first goal with team-mate Curtis Jones (R) during the UEFA Youth League Group C match between S.S.C. Napoli and Liverpool FC at Stadio Comunale di Frattamaggiore. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool academy youngster to leave on free transfer in 2019

Liverpool U23s winger Bobby Adekanye is set to leave the club on a free transfer in the summer, with the 19-year-old joining his fifth club in a strange career.

Adekanye joined the Reds from Barcelona in 2015, having previously turned out for Ajax and, on loan, PSV Eindhoven, and has progressed steadily at the academy.

After being granted a work permit, the Dutchman has moved from the U18s to the U23s and become a staple of Neil Critchley‘s side, but struggled for consistency throughout.

Now, with his contract expiring at the end of the season, Adekanye has agreed to join Serie A side Lazio on a free transfer.

That is according to both Goal‘s Neil Jones and the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce, with the deal due to go through in July.

The Reds are said to have been “left frustrated by his agent during discussions over a potential extension,” and given the winger’s career trajectory so far it seems his advisor’s influence has been vast.

Crucially, no club has paid a transfer fee despite Adekanye spending time in his native Netherlands, Spain, England and soon Italy.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 18, 2018: Liverpool's Rafael Camacho celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mate Bobby Adekanye (left) during the UEFA Youth League Group C match between Liverpool FC and Paris Saint-Germain at Langtree Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

FIFA ruled his move from Ajax to Barcelona to have been illegal, with the Liga giants’ ban on fielding the youngster leading to his loan spell with PSV, before he turned down the option of remaining in either Catalonia or North Brabant to move to Merseyside.

Whether this route will aid his development is questionable, as despite Jurgen Klopp being willing to provide opportunities to young players at Liverpool he was rarely involved in first-team training.

Rafa Camacho, another young winger who has excelled for both the U19s and U23s this season, has on the other hand.

The Portuguese is second-top goalscorer for Critchley’s U23s and leads the charts for Barry Lewtas‘ U19s in the UEFA Youth League, while he has already been on the substitutes’ bench twice for the seniors this season.

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