Trent’s ball-boy inspires U18s & Gerrard challenges Ojo – Wednesday’s Liverpool FC News Roundup

We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Wednesday, on the eve of the Reds’ first pre-season friendly of the summer at Tranmere.

Today’s Main Headlines

Trent’s Ball-Boy Shines for U18s

Jurgen Klopp‘s first team aren’t the only Liverpool side beginning pre-season, with the under-18s and under-23s both in action on Wednesday.

Barry Lewtas‘ U18s picked up a comprehensive 4-0 win over Burton Albion, thanks to Oakley Cannonier’s opener, Jake Cain‘s superb free-kick double and a further effort from Niall Brookwell.

In case you had forgotten, Cannonier was the ball-boy who ‘assisted’ Trent Alexander-Arnold against Barcelona in May, prior to his memorable corner for Divock Origi‘s tie-clinching strike at Anfield.

The U23s were also playing at the academy in Kirkby, but they couldn’t secure a win over Crewe Alexandra.

Neil Critchley‘s youngsters had to settle for a goalless draw, with Herbie Kane and Pedro Chirivella both featuring.

Gerrard Lays Down Gauntlet to Ojo

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Tuesday, July 10, 2018: Liverpool's Sheyi Ojo celebrates scoring the second goal during a preseason friendly match between Tranmere Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Prenton Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Sheyi Ojo has made a dream start to life at Rangers, scoring in Tuesday’s 4-0 win over St Joseph’s in a Europa League qualifier.

The Liverpool winger is looking to fill the void left by Kent at Ibrox, for the time being at least, hopefully blossoming under the tutelage of Steven Gerrard.

Speaking after the game, Gerrard urged Ojo to prove himself, saying failure to shine on loan would be down to his own application:

“Sheyi has got all the attributes and if this doesn’t work it will be because of Sheyi.

“He has got everything in the locker—he is quick, he is strong, he is powerful, he takes on information.

“From a manager’s point of view, you know he is going to take on the tactical information, you see him chasing back and making fouls and getting yellow cards.

“He knows that he needs to make this work. He is delighted to be here.

“He has settled in well and the fans are having him. Now he has got to build on that.”

The early signs suggest Ojo is going to enjoy a productive time of things in Scotland, but he must find more consistency and influence than he showed at Stade de Reims last season.

Fabinho’s High Praise for Firmino

Virgil van Dijk has built up a reputation as the world’s best centre-back, following an all-conquering season with Liverpool.

Speaking to De Sola, with the quotes translated on Reddit, Fabinho credited Roberto Firmino with being the only player who has won the ball off Van Dijk during his time at Liverpool.

“I’m usually on his team, thank God,” he joked. “The only guy I’ve ever seen winning a ball from him in training was Firmino. Only once.”

It’s no great surprise that Firmino matched Van Dijk, if only once, given his tenacious work rate and ability to win back possession in key areas.

Still, the Dutchman won’t be too upset by his overall ‘duels won’ ratio!

Rangers ‘Given First Option’ on Kent

Rangers Ryan Kent during the UEFA Europa League, Second Qualifying Round, Second Leg match at Ibrox, Glasgow.

Ryan Kent was arguably Liverpool’s best-performing loanee last season, catching the eye at Rangers.

The winger’s displays earned him the Scottish Young Player of the Year award, as he took a big step forward in his career.

Kent’s future is up in the air this summer with the 22-year-old back at Liverpool for pre-season, but STV Sport claim that Rangers have ‘first option’ to sign him on loan again.

That’s if Liverpool decide to let him leave on a temporary basis, though it seems more likely a permanent deal is agreed elsewhere.

Reds Chase Another Young Talent

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2019: Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp reacts during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Liverpool are eyeing up a move for teenage sensation Charlie Allen.

The 15-year-old has reportedly become “the most wanted player in Northern Ireland,” with numerous top clubs interested in him.

Liverpool are thought to be keen on the midfielder, along with Man City, Man United and Tottenham, to name but a few.

Allen has been named in Linfield’s squad for their Champions League first qualifying round first-leg clash with Rosenborg on Wednesday.

If he features, the teenager would become the youngest UK player in history to play in Europe’s most prestigious competition.

There is no suggestion that the Reds are leading the way, however, but the appeal for a young player to move to Anfield is undeniable.

Allen’s compatriot, 16-year-old Conor Bradley, has already joined.

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