Liverpool have seen 17-year-old left-back Luke Chambers sign his first professional contract with the club, as he looks to make a step up in the academy pecking order.
The past year has been a busy one for the Reds in terms of new contracts, with the club looking to retain a number of players within the first team and academy.
At senior level, both Adrian and Caoimhin Kelleher signed extended deals last month, with Layton Stewart, Tom Clayton, Tyler Morton, Fidel O’Rourke, Matteo Ritaccio, Liam Hughes, Harvey Blair all agreeing new youth terms.
Towards the start of the year, under-18s striker Max Woltman and right-back Sean Wilson signed their first professional contracts, having established themselves as regulars under Marc Bridge-Wilkinson.
Liverpool have now confirmed another to make the step up from his scholarship in Chambers, who made 12 appearances for the young Reds in his first season at U18 level.
Nine of those came as starts, having served as cover for second-year James Norris throughout a successful campaign that saw Bridge-Wilkinson’s side finish third in the league and reach the FA Youth Cup final.
Chambers is a high-tempo full-back who scored his first goal at U18 level in April’s 1-1 draw with Burnley, and if Norris makes the jump to the under-23s this season, the 17-year-old is poised to take up duties as new first choice.
The youngster, who only turned 17 at the end of June, can look to the continued pathway from academy to first team for Liverpool’s full-backs as inspiration looking ahead.
Right-back Conor Bradley, who was in Chambers’ position two years ago, is now poised to take Neco Williams‘ spot as deputy to Trent Alexander-Arnold, while left-back Owen Beck could also be in line for more exposure, too.
That would, in turn, allow for an increase in opportunities for the likes of Norris and Wilson at U23s level, with the conveyor belt then benefiting Chambers.
Chambers is not likely to be the last academy player to sign a new contract this summer, with Beck among those in line for an extension.
Meanwhile, centre-back Terence Miles has signed his scholarship with the club, along with goalkeeper Luke Hewitson and striker Iwan Roberts, who will all be part of the U18s side in 2021/22.