We’ve spent a lot of time in our ‘LFC Greatests’ blogs delving deep into nostalgia, which is pretty much a given considering the club’s rich history, but there’s a bright future ahead too with a number of hugely talented youngsters springing out of Kirkby and heading to Melwood. It felt quite poignant to do this piece as Martin Kelly once again showed his prowess at Chelsea, notching his first senior goal to boot, and upon hearing the extent of Lucas’ knee injury paving the way for ‘wee’ Jay Spearing. Lets hope he can make that midfield enforcer spot his own for the remainder of the season once he serves his suspension.
So this week, we give you LFC’s Greatest Current Prospects as chosen by Love Follow Conquer
5) Toni Silva
Portuguese wingers have been in-vogue for a few years now and there might be international star in the making with Toni Silva – a leggy, pacy, direct wide-man with keen eye for goal. Having impressed in a youth game against Liverpool for Benfica, it wasn’t long until he was snapped up and given his debut in an U16s match at half-time, 1-0 down. Another 45 minutes later and Silva had two goals and had earned the young Redmen the win. If he can improve the mental side of his game, i.e. work-rate, positioning and decision-making which can be said of pretty much all teenagers, then we have a real prospect on our hands.
4) Conor Coady
Haydock-born Coady became the first ever English captain to lift the UEFA European under 17’s Championship in the summer of 2010 and has progressed into the reserves still as a teenager, showing great ability at both centre-half and as a box-to-box midfielder. A clean striker of the ball, excellent passer and with old-fashioned northern grit in his game, Coady is often mooted as a young Gerrard and a future Liverpool captain though many would say there is still a lot of work to be done yet.
Everyone seems to love a diminutive Spanish playmaker, they’re all the rage at the minute, and we have our very own in Jesus ‘Suso’ Fernandez. Many have likened him to David Silva which is both exciting and disconcerting considering the weight of expectation, but with his natural technical ability and sweet left-foot, the comparisons are natural. He was often described as the jewel in the crown of Liverpool’s academy and has since moved into the reserves, recently scoring the winner at Wolves, but it has been said that his slight frame and propensity to sometimes go missing when it gets a bit physical have left question marks over his future in the English game. Of course, time will tell, but this isn’t the 1970s and if the lad can improve his physical attributes, he could be a Liverpool playmaker for years to come.
2) Andre Wisdom
A physical beast of a defender yet with grace and poise, Wisdom is one of the most talked-about teenagers in British football. Although lacking one or two inches (in height you dirty bastards), he has all the other credentials needed to be a top class centre-half for many years to come. Testament to his natural ability; he has been deployed in a number of positions since joining from Bradford at the age of 15, including right back and as a holding midfield player. Earlier this year, FourFourTwo magazine described him as “…a defender with the physique of Sol Campbell, and the footballing ability of Rio Ferdinand”. We should see a lot more of this 18-year-old in the near future, potentially as a ready-made replacement for when Carra’s legs finally pack in.
1) Raheem Sterling
Possibly the most talked-about 16-year-old in English football, the Jamaican-born Sterling is already someone that many Kopites are pinning their hopes on. When Liverpool signed the winger for £200k in 2010, a coach at QPR confirmed they were considering handing him a debut, aged just 15. From what we’ve seen in the U16s, U18s and now in the reserves, this busy little winger has the talent to go all the way. Comfortable on either flank though recently he’s found himself on the left wing leaving defenders in a quandary as he can go outside and stand balls up with his weaker foot or cut inside and cause havoc with his right by shooting or picking out a good final ball. He really hit the headlines earlier this year during a 9-0 FA Youth Cup thrashing of Southend where he made it look like childs’ play – scoring five goals. His low centre of gravity makes him very hard to stop and having already been handed the no. 31 first team number, it’s clear Kenny has very high hopes for young Raheem.
LFC Greatests – Current Prospects, a LoveFollowConquer.com blog post
Adam Morgan? Reluctant to add too much to the hype (having seen so many strikers come & go at youth/reserve level) but this kid looks like a goal machine in the making.
Great stuff. Certainly high hopes for Sterling, wisdom and Coady. I think a lot of LFC fans might be slightly weary of Pachecco effect of seemingly being amazing but not quite stepping up a level. I guess he still could. But I agree with Dave, I’ve heard Morgan is potentially the next God to come through.
I dont like it when youngsters get compared to current stars of the game… Lost count of how many times ive heard the saying “hes the next gerrard/carra” All five of them are obviously talented, let them learn their craft and let’s see if they can take the next step up when they get given their chances. But it is exciting to see what looks like some proper talent coming through the ranks right now
They are all still young enough they may not have settled into their best position so it is hard to say what will happen to them. Toni Silva looks to be the closest to the first team because of his relative size and athleticism but attitude concerns have followed him over the last year. There is no mention of John Flanagan or Jack Robinson, are they seen to have already made it? Based on Fabio’s history I would assume Robinson is two on the depth chart at LB and whenever I see Flanagan playing for the reserves he looks so much bigger and better than everyone else it almost seems unfair.
Damien Comolli has made a few splashes in the youth market over the past year. Is there any indication how that group is doing? I remember either Pep Segura or Frank McParland saying over the summer that the group behind our current NextGen/Reserves unit might actually be more talented than Rodolfo’s. And lastly, it is great to see so many black kids having success in the Academy. How else will we ever get another John Barnes?
I think it’s better to look only at the Reserves at the moment. The U18’s are very exciting but at that age it’s too early to tell (with most of them anyway).
I agree with all of your choices and would include Brad Smith