Liverpool complete £800,000 deal for 14-year-old centre-back

While progress is being made as Liverpool seek more first-team signings, the club have completed a deal for teenage Wolves defender Harvey Owen.

This summer has already seen 10 players depart Liverpool’s academy ranks, with six released and four others sold to other clubs.

Leighton Clarkson has joined Aberdeen, Layton Stewart headed to Preston, Elijah Gift joined Athletic Club and Kerron Samuels signed a deal with Brentford.

Of those whose contracts expired, Jack Bearne (Greenock Morton), Charlie Hayes-Green (Bolton) and Iwan Roberts (Bala Town) have already landed elsewhere, while Oludare Olufunwa is on trial at Burton Albion.

Further exits can be expected as Max Woltman looks to impress with a trial at Oxford United, but there has also been movement in terms of incomings.

Owen, 14, has announced his arrival at the AXA Training Centre after seven years at Wolves, with the deal reported to be worth up to £800,000.

“Very happy to sign for Liverpool, can’t wait to get started,” he wrote on Instagram.

“Thank you to everybody who has helped me to get where I am today and just wanna say big thank you to Wolves who have supported me throughout my career.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 19, 2023: Liverpool Academy manager Alex Inglethorpe during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-21's and Chelsea FC Under-21's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool agreed the sizeable fee – higher than would have been determined by tribunal – with Wolves in order to beat competition from elsewhere.

Reporting back in May, the Express & Star‘s Liam Keen described the Midlands club as “disappointed to lose him,” but negotiations are made more difficult when players are yet to sign scholarships.

Earlier this month, Liverpool confirmed 12 youngsters had agreed contracts as first-year scholars, with that group likely to form the core of Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s under-18s.

Owen, however, is expected to start life with the under-16s, who are managed by under-21s assistant coach Jonathan Robinson.

While expectations should be tempered for a player of his age, the fee attached to the deal shows Liverpool’s belief in Owen if he realises his potential.

The teenager even comes with an endorsement from Yaya Toure, as Owen’s former Wolves academy coach Wes Hughes explained in October of last year.

“We recently played at Tottenham and he had a nice pat on the back from an ex-player in Yaya Toure,” Hughes explained.

“He personally went up to Harvey and said that he had a lot of potential and would be a really good player in the future, so I think he’ll be really proud of that.”

Hughes added: “He’s a right-footed player who likes to play on the left side at the back – whether that’s in a back three or a back four.

“He’s come on leaps and bounds in terms of his football.”