As part of an occasional series analysing the players of other teams, here's an article on one of Arsenal's rivals.
We’ve all heard about the Trent Alexander Arnold story. From the academy to making his debut for his boyhood club, Liverpool, to be one of the best backs in the world, that’s one for the movies.
But 2022 is a new season with fresh hope and space for more youngsters to put their hands up, repeating the heroics of TAA. Alexander Arnold is a sheer display of talent, and at the age of 23, he’s making headlines in almost every football journal with his exceptional playing style and attitude.
But who’s next? Who will be the next player that will follow in the footsteps of becoming a regular in the starting lineup?
With the youth setup based alongside the first team and Klopp’s idealogy of mixing the groups together, players can be called up within a matter of minutes to the first team. Daily, the decisions will end up at Barry Lewtas and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, the two coaches responsible for the under-21s and under-18s, respectively.
The preseason has quite a few youngsters involved with the seniors, and new faces are also catching up.
Liverpool fans have always appreciated their team combination and how it has helped new players to emerge amongst the top-tier players that are regulars in the starting lineup. Every year, fans who purchase Liverpool tickets have high admiration for the academy players, and they receive immense amounts of recognition at Anfield.
We shortlist the top 7 breakthrough talents that have the potential to be the next big thing at Liverpool.
1 - Bobby Clark
Among the academy squad, Clark was the first to be called up for the first side during the preseason. Clark, who is versatile in playing in several positions, was a part of the touring squad to Asia as well.
The 17-year-old has played most of his football in the youth jersey as a wing and has accounted for 13 goals in 23 starts for the U18s
He was impressive when he was brought in as No.8 against the friendly game against Strasbourg at Anfield in the preseason.
His versatility will be something that the team will be looking out for, especially in the second half of the season.
2 - Stefan Bajcetic
Klopp has been quite vocal about the Spaniard, and it showed during the preseason, where he was given more time than the reserves. A defensive midfielder and centre-back, Bajcetic has adapted excellently well in the preseason, continuing his good form from the last season.
The 17-year-old joined Liverpool from Celta Vigo in 2021 and will be a player to watch if he makes a start this season.
3 - Issac Mabaya
Another catch that has caught up with everyone purchasing Liverpool tickets was Mabaya. Playing as a right-back and central midfielder, his levels of energy and levels of playing impressed everyone in the friendly against Strasbourg.
The preseason game Liverpool tickets were an early opportunity for the fans to see the emerging talents, and Mabaya was one player that all the fans would remember. Despite being 17 years, he’s expected to take on a bigger responsibility in the U21s.
His strengths rely on power and pace, and he is well suited to play as a right-back in the formation that Liverpool plays.
4 - Trent Kone Doherty
At 16 years, Doherty joins Liverpool from Ireland club Derry City and will be a regular in the U18s in his first season with Liverpool.
The winger showed promise with the Irish side, and there will be a development plan laid out for the youngster to grow through the ranks before he gets his eventual nod. But, he is nothing short of talent, already with first-side exposure in his earlier side.
5 - Tommy Pilling
As an attacking midfielder, it might be challenging to break into Liverpool’s 1st side with the depth they have shown throughout the last few seasons, but Tommy Pilling wants to give it a shot
Since his entry to the academy at the age of five, he has been one of the most exciting players to watch in the junior levels and now will have the opportunity to play in the U18s as a regular.
Pilling received his first call to the U18s last year as a 16-year-old, and he has shown skill as an attacking midfielder.
With him turning 18 in September, Pilling has already signed his first professional contract and will be a key player for the junior outfit.
6 Calum Scanlon
It isn’t too often that you see clubs such as Liverpool paying big money for junior players to be a part of their setup, and Scanlon was an exception. From the point of everyone who is a regular purchasing Liverpool tickets, it came as a surprise.
In 2020, Scalon joined the Reds from Birmingham for a fee near 500,000 pounds and had not stopped since then. There is a plan in place to see Scanlon’s development after a promising campaign last season and would’ve surely caught the eye of Klopp during training.
The side believes that there’s still work to be done with Scanlon until he is completely ready for first team action but expects that routine to be completed within the course of the season
7 Keyrol Figueroa
At just 15 years, you might wonder why Keyrol makes the top 7 list. As a striker, he comes out to be a personal suggestion with the levels he’s displayed at the junior level. Son of Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa, the young lad, has had immense progress in the U13s and U14s for Liverpool in the last two seasons.
News from Liverpool is that he scored over 90 goals in a campaign that the academy organizes. While he becomes an exciting talent to watch, there’s a lot of work for the coaches before they get him ready for the big leagues.
The early signs are that Figueroa can continue to score regularly as he takes up duties as a first-year scholar with the U18s, with big shoes to fill following Oakley Cannonier’s move up to the U21s.
Exciting debuts are coming up!
One thing that every fan with Liverpool tickets loves to see is an underdog story - a story where a player comes up through the ranks and makes a name for themselves. Each year, the Reds have had a player of some sort like this, and there’s a vacant space in front of 2022-23
Time will decide who will own this space.
In the meantime, as we progress through the first round of games and you’ve still not found your Liverpool tickets, now is the time to act.
The trusted reseller platforms are now offering a lifeline for every fan to purchase Liverpool tickets to watch the Reds play. With plenty of action lined up until November, there’s still space for you and your pals to make it to Anfield.