LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 22, 2020: Liverpool's Layton Stewart celebrates scoring the third goal, his hat-trick, to put his side 3-0 up during the Under-18 FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s 17-goal starlet rewarded with new long-term contract

Prolific academy goalscorer Layton Stewart has penned a new contract with the club after another successful season which did end in a significant injury setback.

Stewart has been a highly talked prospect for some time having starred for the academy in recent years, primarily with the under-18s before stepping up a level under Barry Lewtas.

The 18-year-old, who has been at the club since the age of seven, featured 10 times with a return of an impressive 15 goals for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson in addition to eight outings for the U23s where he twice found the net in 2020/21.

It was during an appearance for the latter, however, where his season came to an abrupt halt with a ruptured ACL after a tally of 17 goals and three assists in 18 games.

A long recovery now awaits but time is certainly on his side, and Liverpool have shown their faith in his ability by signing Stewart to a new long-term deal this week.

The youngster has drawn comparisons to former academy graduates Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen for his pace and predatory style off the shoulder of a defender.

The 18-year-old has been drafted into first-team training and his place on the bench in the League Cup quarter-final at Aston Villa in 2019/20 remains his only time in a senior matchday squad.

And after putting pen to paper on his new deal, Stewart will be out to make greater strides towards the senior side upon his return from injury.

“After a frustrating few weeks finally some good news, happy to have signed a new long term contract [at] Liverpool FC, another proud moment for me and my family,” Stewart penned on Instagram.

“Can’t wait to get back playing!”

Stewart remains the academy’s leading goalscorer this season ahead of the likes of Max Woltman (11) and Mateusz Musialowski (10) and on his return, he will hope to pick up from where he left off.