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19-year-old striker makes rare outing in Liverpool first-team training

Jurgen Klopp oversaw a Saturday training session at Kirkby ahead of the trip to Man United, with 19-year-old striker Layton Stewart receiving a rare call-up.

With the Reds not travelling to Old Trafford until Monday night, the schedule was tweaked to fit in a session at the AXA Training Centre on Saturday.

It brought with it a double boost to the first-team ranks, with both Jordan Henderson and Nat Phillips taking part in full training after concerns over their fitness earlier in the week.

There remain a number of absentees, of course, including Diogo Jota, who is still sidelined with a hamstring injury aggravated during pre-season.

In fact, Klopp only has one senior striker available for the clash at United, with Roberto Firmino set to start as Darwin Nunez begins his three-match suspension.

That leaves the squad ranks depleted even further, and it is likely that the substitutes’ bench will be padded out with youngsters from the academy.

KIDDERMINSTER, ENGLAND - Friday, July 22, 2022: Liverpool's Layton Stewart during a pre-season Under-21's friendly between Kidderminster Harriers FC and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Aggborough Stadium. (Pic by Peter Hinkley/Propaganda)

It remains to be seen whether he will be involved in Manchester, but Stewart was given an opportunity to impress in training on Saturday regardless.

This came partly due to the absence of both Jota and Nunez, but also due to the teenager being ineligible for the Liverpool under-21s in their meeting with Blackburn due to a red card of his own last time out.

Oakley Cannonier started in his place for the 1-0 win at the academy, with Stewart’s misfortunate turning into a surprise chance in front of Klopp and his staff.

Stewart is no stranger to first-team training, but a year out with an ACL injury has proved a major roadblock in advancing to the senior squad on a full-time basis.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 1, 2022: Liverpool's Layton Stewart (L) and Manchester United's goalkeeper Radek Vitek race for the ball during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-23's and Manchester United FC Under-23's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

However, he is highly rated within the academy and has already scored his first goal of the season in the U21s’ 1-1 draw with Brighton, after impressing throughout pre-season.

There is a small chance, then, that he catches the eye in these days spent with the first team, with the current situation certainly aiding his chances.

Beyond Stewart, 17-year-old duo Stefan Bajcetic and Bobby Clark are expected to make the squad against Man United, with Klopp and his coaches huge admirers of their quality and potential to grow.

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