Jurgen Klopp can save a fortune this summer by utilising the club’s promising academy whilst on the hunt for Alberto Moreno’s replacement. Now, he might have not been a regular at left-back for Liverpool with Andy Robertson being the key protagonist in the matter but if the Scottish international were to get injured then they would need some sort of backup option. In the current transfer climate, it wouldn’t be worthwhile splashing the cash on a player only to sit behind another all season. Maybe, just maybe, the next Trent Alexander-Arnold is waiting in the wings to help with squad depth.
This week, left-back Matt Targett joined Premier League newcomers Aston Villa for £17m whilst the likes of Ryan Sessegnon and Junior Firpo would cost over triple that. Which only emphasises how expensive the current market is for players. Therefore it would make sense to promote a couple of talented left-backs from the academy to fill the glaring void left behind by the Spaniard. Two stars likely to make the transition up could be Adam Lewis and Yasser Larouci.
Lewis signed a new long-term deal at the club back in February suggesting that the local lad is highly regarded amongst the under-23 setup. He also travelled to Marbella as part of their winter break preparations. Playing for Liverpool’s senior outfit is definitely something in his sights after saying: “My aim is just to try and get on the bench or maybe in the squad for a Premier League game.” He can take inspiration from the fact that Klopp is willing to trust their young prospects, as seen with Alexander-Arnold on the other side of the pitch. The 20-year-old broke through two years ago and has already gone on to play 85 times for the senior side as well as earning a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s 2018 World Cup squad. Lewis is very much on a similar career trajectory after he captained the under-18s when Steven Gerrard was in charge and has featured for both the England under-19s and under-20s.
Larouci is a little further behind in terms of development but he is also a worthy candidate. The 18-year-old was originally a winger before his manager Barry Lewtas switched him to left-back at the beginning of the season. He was one of the standout performers as the side went on to win the FA Youth Cup for the fourth time. Lewtas has said in the past: “Yasser has done extremely well for us. He is lightning quick and has a real good personality.” This sort of glowing review should be music to Klopp’s ears in terms of both ability and character matching the sort of player the German wants in his side.
With pre-season just around the corner and a number of international absentees, it could be the perfect time for Liverpool to experiment with their youngsters. If they perform well, given the opportunity, in games against Tranmere Rovers and Bradford City then there’s nothing stopping them from joining the senior side on their trip to America – where they will come toe-to-toe with some of the world’s elite in Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Sporting.