Liverpool have confirmed their latest intake of first-year scholars at the academy, with nine new faces set for life with the under-18s, including three summer signings.
The Reds’ youngsters have endured a long break with their campaign ending at the start of March, and there is no start date for 2020/21 announced as of yet.
But the club have long been in preparation for the new season, with Barry Lewtas taking duties with the under-23s and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson promoted from his role with the under-16s to take his place as U18s manager.
There have also been changes among their support staff, most notably in the appointment of former Premier League midfielder Gary O’Neil as Lewtas’ assistant, and pre-season has begun strongly for both age groups.
The U23s drew 2-2 with The New Saints before a 4-1 win over League Two side Carlisle United, while the U18s have put their Crewe and Huddersfield counterparts to the sword with back-to-back 5-0 wins.
A host of youngsters caught the eye in those U18s victories, including a crop of first-year scholars who have now been officially unveiled by the club.
Those include new signings Melkamu Frauendorf, an attacking midfielder from Hoffenheim, Fabian Mrozek, a goalkeeper from FC Wroclaw, and his fellow Pole, versatile forward Mateusz Musialowski.
All 16, the trio were already known to be joining the club this summer, but Liverpool have now announced their arrivals as part of the U18s setup.
They will be joined by goalkeeper Harvey Davies, centre-back Lee Jonas, left-back Luke Chambers, midfielder Luca Stephenson and forwards Harvey Blair and Oakley Cannonier, again all 16.
Cannonier is perhaps the most well-known of that group, having made headlines as the ball-boy who handed the ball back to Trent Alexander-Arnold, allowing him to supply his iconic quick corner for Divock Origi‘s goal against Barcelona.
The group includes two Scousers in Davies and Jonas, with the latter having joined from Everton as an under-12s player, while Blair and Cannonier were signed at the same age from Man United and Leeds respectively.
Stephenson was brought in from Sunderland in 2018, with the deal initially reported to be worth £500,000, though it is likely it ended up being significantly less.
The likes of Musialowski, Frauendorf and Blair have already found the back of the net in pre-season, and could form part of a new-look attack from Bridge-Wilkinson in 2020/21.
Fidel O’Rourke is likely to step up to the U23s, while Layton Stewart will not be far behind, but Max Woltman could play a key role at U18s level after scoring four goals in seven games last term.