By David Fitzgerald (TTT Subscriber Madchenkliop).
I think it was Michael Beale who said ‘there have been different players that have shone for periods of the season, but that ultimately, standing out from the crowd is what you need to do in order to get promoted to the first team.’
Of course doing that at a time when your club has an injury crisis and there are a million games is also pretty helpful. But it’s worth remembering what some players achieved earlier in the season, such as Danny Ward and Ryan Kent on their loan spells, and Harry Wilson was sensational for a prolonged period with the U21s. It’s so cruel how injury and form can intervene for youngsters, who have so much on their plate already, what with having to grow up into adults and trying to get a bit of an academic education on the side. The chances of the needs of LFC and a youngster’s development peaking at the same time are fairly slim, especially when inconsistency is almost a given early on.
That said, there’s been an unbelievable glut of opportunity this season with the cup runs and Klopp’s mission to find out who he wants to keep. Because of this circumstances, we might suspect that he’s as delighted as he claims with the depth of talent at youth level, but we won’t really know how he plans to proceed until the end of the transfer window. That also goes for the likes of Beale, Inglethorpe and the loan system. Klopp has already expressed doubts about the suitability of sending players out on loan as preparation for first team action, and I think we have already seen since Christmas that there is value in having the players train together at Melwood and at U21 level. When they have played at senior level they’ve looked really well drilled. Personally I hope that he keeps this core of youth players together and we’ll benefit from their familiarity with each other.
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