COMMENT By Emma Sanders
Liverpool host Plymouth in the FA Cup third round replay at Home Park on Wednesday evening and a number of academy stars will be expected to feature.
Jurgen Klopp has utilised several youngsters in the cup competitions so far this season but here are three players that Football Insider believes could be handed their debuts in the return fixture against Plymouth.
The reserve team skipper has been in excellent form this season and it’s slightly surprising he has not been given an opportunity in the first team yet. Wilson can play in any position across midfield but he excels in an advanced role and he has already scored seven goals in 11 appearances for the Under-23s this season. He’s tricky, has an excellent set-piece delivery and he’s a natural leader so he could come in for a number of first team stars.
Whelan is predominantly a right-back, though he is capable of playing in the middle of defence. He has made nine appearances for the Under-23s this season but has had to play second fiddle to academy star Trent Alexander-Arnold for most of the campaign. His teammate made his first Premier League start against Manchester United on Sunday so he may be rested for Wednesday’s FA Cup clash and with Nathaniel Clyne missing the weekend game through injury, he may also miss out on selection. It could be a great opportunity for Whelan to step up to the plate.
The Spaniard was an exciting addition to the academy this summer after he joined from Barcelona and he has looked impressive for the reserve team this season. He performs at left-back, which is an advantage because that has proven to be a problem-area for the Reds in recent years. With three games in seven days, Klopp is expected to make several changes and he may give the youngster a chance ahead of James Milner and Alberto Moreno to prove his worth. Out of the potential candidates he is the most unlikely though.
In other Liverpool news, Jurgen Klopp has hailed the performance of Trent Alexander-Arnold.