Liverpool have confirmed 11 youngsters as first-year scholars for 2021/22, including February signing Kaide Gordon, who is currently on pre-season with the first team.
Before a young player signs his first professional contract with a club, they are usually tied to a scholarship, which is a year-long deal as standard but can be extended by a further 12 months.
This summer has seen the likes of Harvey Davies, Luke Chambers and Oakley Cannonier agree their first professional deals, while 11 others have signed scholar’s terms.
Gordon is one of those, with the forward unable to sign a senior contract until he celebrates his 17th birthday in October.
Having already debuted for the under-23s – scoring in his only appearance for Barry Lewtas’ side so far on the final day of last season – and now training with the first team in Austria, that is likely to be a priority later this year.
But for now, the 16-year-old joins 10 others as a first-year scholar for the new campaign, with seven of those having already featured for the under-18s.
Isaac Mabaya, Stefan Bajcetic, Terence Miles, Calum Scanlon, Charlie Hayes-Green, James McConnell and Tommy Pilling all played for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s U18s last season, with Mabaya and Miles regular options.
Goalkeeper Luke Hewitson, defender Niall Osborne and forward Iwan Roberts have also signed scholarships, and are likely to be promoted from the under-16s setup this season.
Like Gordon, centre-back Bajcetic and full-back Scanlon were both signed in the winter transfer window, while the remaining eight youngsters have been in the academy for a longer period.
Mabaya is one of the most talented 16-year-olds at Liverpool, with the bulky, intelligent teenager able to play in midfield and right-back.
McConnell and Pilling are promising attacking options who both made a contribution in front of goal for the U18s last term, while Miles could step up as a first-choice centre-back for Bridge-Wilkinson this season.