Liverpool coaches used to be told to give priority to foreign arrivals over local prospects in the academy before a change of approach under the current management, according to the Times.
The newspaper claim on their website that the Reds have moved on from how their academy used to operate, when there was a focus on signing numerous young talents from overseas, with a cut in the number of players and attention given to quality over quantity.
It is stated that the youth side’s coaching staff used to be instructed to spend more time focusing on the new signings rather than those coming from Merseyside, but that things have changed behind the scenes.
The report goes on to say that the Liverpool hierarchy have placed no demands on the club succeeding at youth or reserve level, despite securing the FA Youth Cup this year.
It would be difficult to argue that Liverpool’s change of approach has worked wonders for the club, with plenty of promising talents making the necessary step up and emerging as genuine contenders for first team roles. The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who started 38 of his 40 appearances during the 2018/19 campaign, and fellow defender Joe Gomez, who already has 66 outings for the Reds at just 22-years-old, demonstrate a clear path from the reserves to the senior setup. With Rafael Camacho joining former foreign signings in leaving Merseyside this summer, the club are right to be focusing on their domestic talents over trying to recruit the next big thing from somewhere else. Natural talent is one thing but it appears the club’s coaching staff are well equipped to help the youngsters through a crucial stage of their development and to make the grade at Anfield. The Liverpool faithful will be hoping that they can continue to produce homegrown starlets for the foreseeable future.