KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 3, 2022: Liverpool's Jayden Danns during the Under-18 Premier League match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Sunderland AFC Under-18's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Liverpool striker keeps up eye-catching goal run in heavy U18s defeat

Liverpool striker Jayden Danns returned for pre-season in prolific scoring form, and now has three goals in two games to start the campaign proper.

Leeds U18s 4-1 Liverpool U18s

U18 PL, Thorp Arch
August 19, 2023

Goals: Brown 28′, Vincent 38′, McDonald 66′ 78′; Danns pen 85′

It was a frustrating afternoon for Liverpool under-18s, as they followed up an emphatic victory over Nottingham Forest to kick off the season with a heavy defeat at Leeds.

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson again named a youthful side, including four first-year scholars in centre-back Carter Pinnington, midfielders Ben Trueman and Fola Onanuga and forward Kareem Ahmed.

Josh Davidson, meanwhile, took up the inverted right-back role after debuting alongside substitute Kieran Morrison in the under-21s’ 1-1 draw with Derby the night before.

The young Reds’ attack saw Ahmed start alongside both Danns and Lewis Koumas, however, with seemingly enough firepower to test Leeds.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, Liverpool's Carter Pinnington during the Under-18 Premier League Cup match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Tottenham Hotspur FC Under-18's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Unfortunately, that was not the case, with the hosts scoring twice in the first half and twice in the second to ensure a comfortable victory.

There was still time for Danns to get on the scoresheet though, stepping up to convert a late penalty after Leeds had gone down to 10 men.

Danns’ latest strike came after two in the U18s’ opening 4-2 win over Forest, along with four more in five outings during pre-season.

Among those was the winner as the U21s overcame senior opposition in Kidderminster Harriers, with the 17-year-old poised to make a mark in the academy this season.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 1, 2023: Liverpool's Jayden Danns during the UEFA Youth League Round of 16 game between Liverpool FC Under-19's and FC Porto's Under-19's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

His effort against Leeds made it seven in seven since the start of pre-season, and staff will be hoping he keeps it up with more changes to come before the end of the transfer window.

Both Max Woltman and Layton Stewart have departed on permanent deals while James Balagizi joined Wigan on loan, and the likes of Mateusz Musialowski and Paul Glatzel could still move on.

Whether that results in a full-time step up to the U21s later this campaign remains to be seen, but Danns is doing himself no harm with this early-season form.

Liverpool U18s: Morana; Davidson, Pinnington, Lucky (Furnell-Gill 45′), Gyimah; Trueman (Laffey 69′), Pennington (Morrison 57′), Onanuga; Ahmed, Koumas, Danns

Subs not used: Misciur, Pitt

Next match: Derby (H) – U18 PL – Saturday, August 26, 12.30pm (BST)