It was a big year for Liverpool’s academy in 2023, with four youngsters debuting for the first team, so who could make the next step in 2024? Here are 10 to watch out for.
Liverpool’s academy should always be a source for the first team, and in Jarell Quansah the club looks to have produced the next regular starter.
So who should we look out for in 2024?
If they weren’t already convinced, academy staff at Liverpool would have been sure of Nyoni’s potential within days of his arrival from Leicester.
The summer signing has made remarkably swift progress from the U18s to the fringes of the first team – training regularly and making the bench for the 3-0 win over Brentford in November – in a rise similar to that of Doak in 2022.
A versatile midfielder who has already scored four and assisted five in 13 games at academy level, it would be no surprise if Nyoni was the next to debut.
After a swift promotion for Lewis Koumas, Danns was installed as first-choice striker for the U18s, and he has thrived with the responsibility up front.
Tall and strong with a predatory instinct in the final third, the 17-year-old has begun the campaign in prolific form, scoring 15 goals in 13 games for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s U18s plus one in two substitute appearances for the U21s.
Given the strides he is making both creatively and in work off the ball, it would be no surprise to see Danns make the step up to the U21s on a full-time basis in 2024.
Arriving in the same summer as Nyoni, physically imposing centre-back Nallo only turned 17 in mid-November but has become a staple of the U21s defence.
Typically operating on the left side of the central pairing, the former West Ham scholar has shown strength and technical quality, including up against senior sides in the EFL Trophy.
While it could be a while before he is considered for the first team, Nallo should continue his progress as part of the U21s in 2024.
Another who has been fast-tracked into Barry Lewtas‘ U21s this season, Pinnington has partnered Nallo at the back on a number of occasions.
A tall, dominant centre-back who is also capable of playing in defensive midfield, the local lad – born in the town of Bebington, on the Wirral – has settled in quickly.
Following the U21s’ 3-0 victory over League Two side Morecambe in the EFL Trophy, Lewtas said: “The wind was swirling and I thought Carter was unbelievably assured. He will learn a lot from that experience.”
While Koumas has played his football for the U21s and Doak finds himself with the first team, more caution is being shown with the third member of last season’s irrepressible U18s front line.
Kone-Doherty has worked through minor injuries to impress with both the U18s and U21s this season, doing so on both flanks as coaches look to hone his game.
The Irishman netted a stunning left-footed strike on the opening day of the campaign against Nottingham Forest, hit a hat-trick in the 7-1 thrashing of Sunderland and has more recently been involved in senior training.
Position: Attacking midfielder
Having debuted for the U18s as an U16 player in 2022/23, Morrison has now become one of Bridge-Wilkinson’s key players, while also featuring for the U21s.
The Northern Ireland youth international is adept in a number of roles, and has even been used out wide in attack, but he is perhaps best as an overlapping attacking midfielder, utilising his dribbling ability.
He netted a hat-trick from the right flank in a 3-1 victory over Middlesbrough U18s in November followed by two more goals that month, and will be looking to produce consistently to catch the eye of first-team staff.
Position: Centre-back / full-back
While Nallo and Pinnington have been required in the age group above, the versatile Pitt has arguably been the standout of the U18s’ defensive options.
Pitt, who came through at Hughie McAuley’s youth academy before signing for Liverpool as an eight-year-old, has performed admirably at both centre-back and right-back.
Both he and Luca Furnell-Gill will be ones to watch at the back, in tandem with U18s captain Wellity Lucky.
There was an unfamiliar face in first-team training towards the start of September, with Misciur called in to join the goalkeeping ranks at the AXA.
A new arrival from Hull in March, the 16-year-old was born in England to Polish parents, and as a first-year scholar has already cemented himself as first choice for the U18s.
His appearance with the senior side was not a one-off, and it appears as though he could be called upon to work with Alisson and Co. whenever numbers are light.
Having never featured for the U18s before this season, instead staying with the U16s, Trueman has become a mainstay at the base of Bridge-Wilkinson’s midfield as a first-year scholar.
The youngster is not a typical defensive midfielder, pairing his strength off the ball with the technical quality that saw him attract headlines as a seven-year-old for scoring 123 goals in 18 games.
Trueman – whose brother, Reece, is a training goalkeeper for the academy – figures to feature prominently throughout 2024, and as he bulks out could be a candidate for early promotion to the U21s.
Position: Attacking midfielder
There are a number of youngsters on the fringes of the U18s, including the likes of Josh Sonnie-Lambie and Kareem Ahmed, but Bradshaw may be the pick of the bunch.
Taller and stronger than his age would suggest, he is adept in a number of positions in both midfield and attack, and scored on his U18s debut in the 7-1 win over Sunderland.
Signed from Accrington Stanley in 2021, Bradshaw could feature more regularly after the typical mid-season reshuffle.