Goal has just released their report on the 50 best teenagers in the world of football today.
It’s a fascinating read that should have all clubs on high alert – the 50 players they name are the future of the beautiful game.
Liverpool fans will be glad to see that they’ve got two names on the list – Ben Woodburn and Rhian Brewster – but there are wider questions to be asked about the direction the club is going in.
Jurgen Klopp will say that it’s towards silverware, which is fine.
But in the long-term a club will succeed by either the players they bring through or an endless supply of money.
Woodburn broke through to the senior team last season, making five Premier League appearances.
He hasn’t made any this season, despite Goal saying, “Woodburn could not be more highly rated at Melwood, having been installed as the captain of the club’s Under-19s by club legend Steven Gerrard.”
He’s played more games for Wales than he has for his club in the league.
17-year-old Brewster still hasn’t made his step-up to the senior team and is now facing a spell on the sidelines through injury.
If they really want to worry, all they need to do is look up at Harry Wilson, another huge youth talent who was forced to go out on loan in January after not making an impact under Klopp.
Wilson played brilliantly for Wales in the 6-0 demolition of China.
Dominic Solanke joined Liverpool after failing to break into the Chelsea team, and when he left he aimed a dig at his former club who are now viewed as an incubation factory for young players who they will go on and sell.
Liverpool are fast in danger of gaining the same reputation and the irony is, Solanke has fared no better at Anfield.
It’s not easy for Klopp – silverware is the price he’s aiming for and it’s the one all fans want.
But, if these players aren’t ready because they don’t have the experience it’s a catch-22 situation that will only likely be solved by giving them the FA Cup to flourish in.
That will come with its own criticisms from pundits and the media, but it might save Liverpool from turning into the next Chelsea.
In other Liverpool news, ‘No no’, Nowhere near the standard: Liverpool fans react to striker heading to Anfield in summer