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Should Liverpool look within for new talent?

As Liverpool’s season slowly descends into dissapointment, and it becomes obvious to everybody outside the first team that fourth place is probably a place too far, it’s time for us to have a look at what can be improved in order to get the team back up and challenging. It’s clear the transfer policy of paying over the odds for young English talent isn’t working judging by the current position in the Premiership.

To all intents and purposes, I don’t believe The FSG strategy is a bad one. However, the problem is in the fact that it seems to be a very costly one and doesn’t fit with the expectations. In that light, it would probably make more sense to look a little closer to home. When Kenny Dalglish took over this time last year, three youngsters in Martin Kelly (above), Jack Robinson and Jon Flanagan were given the chance to make first team appearances. Dalglish gave all the right signals to the supporters implying that if the players are good enough, they’re old enough but that seems to have stopped there.

Granted, we have seen the likes of Robinson, Flanagan and Kelly play a number of games in pre-season, one or two in the Premiership and in the cup campaigns also. I agree that playing regularly in the premiership may be a little soon but the competitive cup games have given them invaluable experience.

Given that the club clearly needs, or rather is looking for, a young striker, a midfielder and perhaps A N Other to add to Sebastian Coates at the back, I would contend that Liverpool also have options for these positions within their ranks and, indeed in the first team squad.

To begin with, at the back, there is Andre Wisdom. The young centre-back come right back appears to have a very promising future ahead of him. Wisdom is just 18 but surely a run in the cup games would give him the benefit of first team football. He has captained England at U19 level which supports the confidence the club has in him. The same England side as the well known Jonjo Shelvey played in, so it’s hard to see why he’s not getting a look in at some point. 

Second up, in midfield there is Conor Coady. This talent is currently in the reserves side and scored a goal during the first team per-season tour of Malaysia. There appears to be high hopes for Coady who can also play in defence. A versatile player that the Reds need. Again, perhaps not quite ready for the first team but a run out in the cup games, even in the last 20 minutes would surely do the boy no harm.

Liverpool also have Raheem Sterling. The young Jamaican, 18, has been with the club since he was 12, I believe and is also held in high regard. The first team is crying out for a decent winger and Sterling is laden with talent. He’s quick, skillful and can finish. The only concern is probably that he’s a little on the slight side which clearly goes against him. However, the same thing was said about a young Ian Wright a few years ago and look what he achieved. It’s a similar story with another of Liverpool’s young forwards Suso (Jesus Fernande Saez) who, also at 18, appears to be just as good a, if not greater, talent that Sterling.

There we have just four of the young talented players Liverpool have at their disposal, not to mention the likes of Daniel Pacheco, David Amoo and Danny Wilson who are all out on loan.

Again I stress, these players are not be quite ready for the rough and tumble of the Premiership and cannot solve the short term issues, but given the fact that Liverpool are spending £m’s on the likes of Jordan Henderson who it has to be said is not much better than average, the young players already there should be given more chances to show what they can do and develop. If these lads are held in such high regard, then perhaps Dalglish should show a little more faith in them instead of running the risk of their becoming disillusioned and going elsewhere.

I really don’t see the point of having this “buy young English talent” strategy if Liverpool are going to pay huge fees for players who, from what I’ve seen are no better than what they already have. We don’t know how well or badly these boys will do until they get the chance. Surely the money would be better spent in investing in these youngsters. Manage the expectations of the supporters. Let’s not have all this “Liverpool can challenge for the title” business when they clearly can’t. Let’s rather set our sight over a three year period and try to gradually bring through those with the potential they clealry have.

By Ben Green

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