WITH transfer speculation reaching fever pitch in relation to players coming in and leaving Anfield this summer our attention is turned to the squad that new boss Brendan Rodgers will be working with throughout his first season in charge of Liverpool Football club.
With Rodgers admitting that there will be 3-4 additions to the current crop at Anfield and persistent rumours regarding the future of several of Liverpool’s first team, the shape of the squad that will start the season at Anfield remains unclear despite there being just over 3 weeks until Liverpool begin their Europa League campaign.
But whilst the majority of focus is on which particular players Brendan Rodgers will be bringing into the football club, Liverpool’s new manager has offered a huge boost to Liverpool’s crop of exciting youngsters this week when he declared “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough to play”.
Rodgers has pointed to mental strength and hard work as key ingredients that all aspiring young players will need if they are to break into the first team picture this season. But he gave a clear indication that some of the academy and reserves finest have a fighting chance of making the breakthrough this season.
Spanish whiz-kid Suso and flying winger Raheem Sterling look the most likely to sample first team football this season with central defender and England U21 international Andre Wisdom following very closely behind.
18 year old Spaniard Suso had a stunning tournament for Spain in this summer’s European U19 championships. His quick feet, excellent vision and outrageous tricks have had Liverpool fans drooling at the prospect of the boy from Cadiz breaking into the first team under Brendan Rogers. Such have been his performances in the tournament to date the Spanish press have gone as far as to liken him to a young David Silva, with his floating around the final third style – a comparison to flatter any player.
A player that Liverpool fans are equally as excited about is England U17 international winger Raheem Sterling. The Jamaican born former QPR youth team star has been a revelation since moving north and despite his tender years has already made 3 senior appearances for the Reds.
Lightning quick, excellent dribbling ability and a fantastic eye for goal, Sterling is being tipped for the very top by the Anfield hierarchy and admitted in a recent interview that new boss Rodgers actually tried to sign him on loan for Swansea last season. With Rodgers strong reliance on quick and direct wingers Sterling should have plenty of opportunities to stake a claim for a first team spot.
Young full backs Jon Flanagan and Jack Robinson will almost certainly remain on the fringes of the first team picture having broken into the first team in season 2010/11. However, with Flanagan making 8 senior appearances last term and Robinson 3, both players will be pushing and hoping for further involvement this time around.
With youngsters Martin Kelly, Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey all now permanent fixtures in the first team, Liverpool’s first team squad for the coming season will have a huge presence of youth and home-grown talent within its ranks, much to the delight of the clubs passionate supporters.
Let’s hope that the young hopefuls grasp any opportunity that comes their way and repay the faith that new boss Brendan Rodgers has already indicated that he will have no problem putting in his exciting starlets. YNWA!
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