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Bobby Clark: The 16-year-old in first-team training ahead of Cardiff clash

Liverpool’s under-18 talent Bobby Clark joined members of Jurgen Klopp‘s first team on Friday ahead of the FA Cup tie with Cardiff, before featuring at academy level.

Clark, 16, is the son of Newcastle great Lee Clark and joined Liverpool last summer having turned down the Magpies’ scholarship offer in favour of a switch to Kirkby.

The attacking and creative midfielder is a regular in Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s U18s side and has four goals and three assists to his name so far this season.

Jurgen Klopp swiftly cast his eye over Clark back in September and has done so on numerous occasions in training since, having helped convince the youngster to make the move.

And Friday was the latest chance that came Clark’s way, he turns 17 this month, as Liverpool’s preparations for the visit of Cardiff in the FA Cup on Sunday continued.

He joined fellow academy members in Kaide Gordon, Owen Beck and Tyler Morton in training alongside regular senior faces such as Virgil van Dijk, Thiago, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.

Clark will hope to follow in the footsteps of the club’s young guns who have gone on to make their debut for the club under Klopp, and there is an expectation that he can reach the same heights.

While any minutes against Cardiff appear off the table having played and impressed in the full 90 minutes in the U18s’ win over Burnley on Saturday, he has previously been namechecked by assistant manager Pep Lijnders.

When highlighting an academy trio he believes could step up in the future, Lijnders made note of Clark and the hope that he can join the first team for pre-season this summer.

“We have a lot of ‘signings’ like this with young players,” Lijnders said last month.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 18, 2021: Liverpool's Bobby Clark (R) celebrates after scoring the second goal with team-mate Melkamu Frauendorf during the Under-18 Premier League match between Burnley FC Under-18's and Liverpool FC Under-18's at The Barnfield Training Centre. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Yesterday, our U18s played against Burnley in the FA Youth Cup. Bobby Clark, Luke Chambers, Stefan [Bajcetic]…they all stand out!

“I hope they come with us to pre-season, because that’s really important, that they first come to a proper pre-season, four, five weeks of training with us, to know exactly how we want to do things.”

A lively and creative attacker, Clark represents Liverpool’s next wave of academy talents in the post-Brexit landscape for Premier League clubs.

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