The 9 academy players who have joined Liverpool’s pre-season training

8 July 2019

Liverpool called up nine academy players to join the first-team squad at Melwood on Sunday, as Jurgen Klopp gets a closer look at some of the club’s bright hopes.


The Reds initially had 16 players back for the first day of training, but these were fleshed out by a host of others as they began ball work.

Ahead of the trip to Tranmere Rovers on Thursday night, for the first of eight warmup friendlies, Klopp could be set to include some youngsters in his squad at Prenton Park.

Nine of those under consideration were part of a small-sided game on Sunday afternoon, with options in goal, defence, midfield and attack.

 

Goalkeepers

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 9, 2017: Liverpool's goalkeeper Viteslav Jaros warms-up before an Under-18 FA Premier League match between Stoke City and Liverpool at the Clayton Wood Training Ground. (Pic by Laura Malkin/Propaganda)

Under-18s mainstay Vitezslav Jaros returned to the fold after training with the senior side on a number of occasions last season.

The Czech could be in line for a start against Tranmere due to the absence of Alisson and Simon Mignolet, with the Belgian yet to return despite his compatriot, Divock Origi, reporting back on Monday.

Injury to Caoimhin Kelleher, and Kamil Grabara‘s extended break, also saw Klopp call in summer signing Jakub Ojrzynski.

Ojrzynski joins the Reds from Legia Warsaw this summer in a £200,000 deal, and the 16-year-old Pole is likely to take over from Jaros if he steps up to the role of under-23s stopper.

 

Defenders

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 18, 2018: Liverpool's captain Adam Lewis during the UEFA Youth League Group C match between Liverpool FC and Paris Saint-Germain at Langtree Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Adam Lewis was surprisingly omitted from the initial 16-man squad despite reports suggesting he could take over from Alberto Moreno as Andy Robertson‘s deputy.

But the left-back was part of the group on Sunday, and will hope to remain there as he vies with Nathaniel Clyne and Anderson Arroyo for a place in the side in Birkenhead.

Another candidate at left-back is Yasser Larouci, who made the successful transition from the right wing in an impressive season with Barry Lewtas’ U18s last time out.

Finally, George Johnston effectively confirmed his stay at Liverpool with his presence in the squad, after doubts over his future.

The 20-year-old centre-back had been offered a new contract but as of the start of June had not put pen to paper, and is now likely to stay on Merseyside in 2019/20.

 

Midfielders

CHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 13, 2019: Liverpool's Abdulrahman Sharif during the FA Youth Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Wigan Athletic FC at the Deva Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sunday saw the return of a player rarely seen on Merseyside in recent seasons, with Ovie Ejaria rejoining his team-mates after loan spells with Rangers and Reading last term.

The 21-year-old could still feasibly stay at Liverpool as a regular for the under-23s, but has been linked with another move to Reading, with his first-team prospects at Anfield slim.

Another midfielder in training was Abdi Sharif, a versatile 18-year-old who is also capable of playing at right-back, but is at his best as an overlapping No. 8.

Sharif signed his first professional contract with the club this summer, and will be aiming to catch Klopp’s eye.

 

Strikers

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 25, 2019: Liverpool's captain Paul Glatzel (L) and strike partner Bobby Duncan celebrate with the trophy after the FA Youth Cup Final match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the Academy Stadium. Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 extra-time draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Though Origi is now back, Klopp is still lacking in options up front at the beginning of pre-season, with Rhian Brewster his only other recognised striker.

This was addressed as both Paul Glatzel and Bobby Duncan joined training.

Glatzel and Duncan formed an unstoppable partnership with the U18s last season, and are likely to reprise that with the U23s in 2019/20, with a step up expected.

Between them, the 18-year-olds scored 59 goals and laid on 26 assists for the academy sides last season.

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