Liverpool has already written another golden page into its vast history by lifting the Premier League trophy after three long decades. Their first team has more or less remains the same, but Klopp has still given some opportunities to the young lads in EFL Cup and FA Cup. Who can forget when a 19-year old was asked to captain his side against Shrewsbury Town in FA Cup?
It was visible that after winning UEFA Champions League last season, Klopp’s eye was on to win the Premier League. He did so by giving rest to his key players in cup competitions. Here are the three players who have benefitted from this decision. These three players have been able to bag some minutes this season and get a taste of first-team football.
The 17-year old kid penned a full-time deal with Liverpool after leaving Fulham last season. He is a forward player who can be equally effective as a wide midfielder. Despite appearing twice in the Premier League for the Reds, his majority of game time came in EFL Cup and FA Cup. He impressed in games against Everton and Shrewsbury Town but is yet to open his goal contribution chart for his new club. In EFL Cup, he has an exciting 2.7 shots per game ratio and also created three big chances. The position he plays at has a lot of competition, but one cannot ignore the quantum of learning he is getting by playing along with the likes of Salah, Mane, and Firmino.
A 19-year central midfielder who is destined for big things in the future, Curtis Jones is undoubtedly one of the most exciting prospects at Liverpool right now. The youngster made 12 first-team appearances for Red this season, half of which came in Premier League, four in FA Cup, and two in the EFL Cup. He got a massive opportunity for Jurgen Klopp to captain his side against Shrewsbury Town in FA Cup this season, becoming Liverpool’s youngest skipper.
Curtis started all the four games in FA Cup and also contributed to the attack by scoring two goals. His sole assist came against Arsenal when he came on as a sub for Naby Keita. In Premier League, Curtis has a 75% successful dribbling rate and has won 1.5 duels per game. The teenager celebrated signing his new contract with the Reds by scoring his first Premier League goal against Aston Villa. With Adam Lallana departing to Brighton, Curtis Jones will have a golden opportunity to step up and put more pressure on the manager to give him more game time.
The 19-year old right-back has got excellent opportunities this season to start in place of Trent Alexander-Arnold whenever Klopp wanted his ace man to have some rest. Neco has featured in 11 games in all competition for Liverpool’s first-team. In 8 of those games, his name appeared in the starting XI which shows the faith that Jurgen Klopp has on this lad. He is more of a defensive right-back when compared to TAA’s exuberance while venturing forward. His versatility might come very handy as well as he possesses the ability to play on both of the flanks.
He is still very young and has ample amount of time to develop an eye to make that decisive pass into the box. Klopp might go into the market to look find a backup for either Trent Alexander-Arnold or Andrew Robertson. If not, this young lad will have a similar opening as Curtis Jones next season to train hard and push the manager to give more minutes on the field.