THIS is a season that promises so much.

A league title wrapped up in our red bows for the first time in 30 years. A tilt at defending the Champions League. Who knows, maybe even the traditional treble to put alongside the two cups already in the bag.

There’s talk too of The Invincibles tag, of 112 points, and more.

And when you consider the remarkable 73 points already won after 25 games tops a staggering 19 of the 29 full-season league hauls for Liverpool since title number 18, it’s easy to see why all this dominates so many thoughts.

Genuine title tilts have been in short supply since 1990. There have been only five runners-up spots in 29 years. And of those – in 1991, 2002, 2009, 2014 and 2019 – only the latter three really convinced that the trophy was truly within reach.

This time around, Liverpool have streaked into a barely believable 22-point lead. So if everyone is wrapped up in staring lovingly at the league table, who can blame them?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 1, 2020: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (R) celebrates scoring the first goal with team-mate Roberto Firmino during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And yet, away from the league, away from how and when a long-awaited title will be celebrated, there is much more to drink in about The Reds’ situation right now.

Take Tuesday night, for example.

Liverpool’s youngest ever side, captained by its youngest ever captain in Curtis Jones, deservedly put League One Shrewsbury Town out of the FA Cup – and secured the club a spot in the fifth round in the process.

In front of a near full-house at Anfield, not only did that tender-aged lineup compete with a physically bigger and mentally more experienced side, it also banked some vital experience and further polished Liverpool’s reputation for youth development.

Think of the rookie stars who shined in the past – and how it was greeted with incredulity when some so young could perform so well.

It’s the stuff of folklore for Reds of a certain vintage that Rob Jones was plucked from the relative obscurity of Crewe Alexandra at 19 and 48 hours later was able to go toe to toe with Ryan Giggs at Old Trafford.

Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard – those who saw them emerge then develop will speak fondly of those early days.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 7, 1997: Liverpool's Michael Owen celebrates scoring from the penalty spot Manchester United with team-mate Steven Gerrard during the FA Youth Cup match at Anfield. United won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Most will speak of debuts, first goals, stand-out moments in the first team. Others perhaps watched Academy games, or ventured to Anfield for a Youth Cup tie.

This, though, is different. The unique circumstances around the League Cup being scheduled 24 hours before a World Club Cup tie in Qatar, coupled with Jürgen Klopp’s statement selection for The FA Cup, has marked a mass of football CVs with a big tick.

Think about it.

For all those involved in the games mentioned, plus the cup games with Arsenal and Everton, a Premier League ground full of fans for a senior match now holds no fears. They’ve done it.

All the traditional traits of a teenager on his debut are now cast aside. Play it safe? Play your way in? Struggle with nerves? Just hope to get through it minus mistakes?

The unknown has been taken away. The mental handcuffs are off. And that allows the stardust to be sprinkled.

So now we see Curtis Jones, at 19, happy to pull out the tricks and flicks. We see 18-year-old Neco Williams looking every inch the able deputy to Trent Alexander-Arnold, still only 21 himself.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 4, 2020: Liverpool's Neco Williams (C) celebrates after an own-goal by Shrewsbury Town during the FA Cup 4th Round Replay match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For the forgotten elder statesman, 22-year-old Pedro Chirivella, there is now a possible path to staying put. If not, there is a definite showreel for getting out.

Both are preferable to the Liverpool limbo he was in not so long ago.

Klopp has been keen to promote a pathway to the first team ever since he arrived. There’s no need to spin it now, it’s there for all to see. Words have been backed up by actions.

In a world where there are few secrets about emerging talent, the next time Liverpool goes head to head over a kid who could cut it, how much better is The Reds’ presentation pack after all this?

Other clubs will undoubtedly put more lucrative deals on the table. Some will try to sell a lifestyle around location. But on developing talent, coaching players and giving them a chance to go right to the top, whose story is more convincing than Liverpool’s right now?

The progress and performances of the youngsters may even have shifted plans behind the scenes. Rather than recruiting for squad gaps that may now be filled by young players punching above their predicted weight, perhaps the pennies and pounds will now go towards another game changer or two.

After all, improving on this squad is not likely to come cheap.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 1, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But whether it’s a dip into the transfer market or the development of a player already on the books, perhaps one of the best things about the rise of the Liverpool star again is the return of a true identity.

Once, we talked about ‘The Liverpool Way’. Once, we would look at players at other clubs and could recognise traits that would put them on an Anfield agenda somewhere.

Then Liverpool lost their way; focus and foresight went astray. Too many arrived and departed that were lacking from the start.

Now, we have it once more.

From first teamers to Academy players, there is a stamp of quality clear to all. From the steel to the skill, from the spirit to the star quality, the club is now back in line with the values it lived by for so long.

A bastion of invincibility? As aims go, it’s not a bad one. And Klopp and co are certainly building Liverpool up and up, from the bottom to the top.

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