It might have taken them years, but Liverpool are finally back to where they belong. It took them 30 years to win their first Premier League title and Jurgen Klopp deserves immense credit for the achievement.
A vast number of academy graduates earned their first-team appearances under the German manager. His trust in the youngsters has also granted him a solution for the future. The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones have cemented their future at the club and their journey will prove to be an inspiration for other academy players to do the same.
While the number of graduates from Liverpool might be comparatively less, their quality has never been compromised. With the number of debutants rising over the past few years, let’s have a look at 5 of the best players to graduate from Liverpool’s academy in the last decade:
Thanks to the emergence of Neco Williams, Liverpool are now home to two of the best right-backs in the Premier League. Trent Alexander-Arnold might be the owner of that role, but Williams can soon be expected to be a worthy contender for that position.
The 20-year-old right-back’s incredible run at the academy was rewarded when he made his professional debut for the Reds in the EFL Cup against Arsenal in 2019. That match was also a huge breakthrough for him as he soon became an important member of the Wales international team.
The Welshman’s rise in form has given Jurgen Klopp something to think about in the future. Williams has featured for Liverpool occasionally, however, he has been struggling with a foot injury this season which is the reason for his limited outings. His return to fitness could challenge Alexander-Arnold for his spot.
Even if that doesn’t happen, there are plenty of clubs that are keeping an eye out for a talented right-back.
A Scouser born and bred, Conor Coady could not get the life he hoped for at Liverpool. Despite being with the academy for six years, Coady found it hard to break into the first team. Persistent appearances in the reserves finally earned him his shot in 2012 when he made his Liverpool debut in the Europa League.
He wore the Reds shirt only one more time after which he was loaned out to Sheffield United. After a season-long spell, he took a massive step, leaving Liverpool to join Huddersfield Town on a permanent deal.
That move granted him frequent appearances and a year later, Wolverhampton Wanderers came calling. Since joining Wolves in 2015, Coady has played a huge role in the club’s return to the first division. The Wolves captain since 2018, Coady has missed only one match in the Premier League since earning their promotion.
Sometimes opportunities come unexpectedly and that is what happened with Curtis Jones at Liverpool. Jones was just another capable player from the Reds’ academy. However, an injury-struck period for Liverpool saw them obtain an immensely skillful midfielder.
In the 2020/21 season, Jurgen Klopp lost major midfielders to injuries. And when all hope seemed lost, he deployed Curtis Jones into the heart of midfield. To everyone’s surprise, the 20-year-old put up an extraordinary performance and ended up appearing 34 times for them that season.
That year has secured his role at the club with Jones set to be a vital member of Liverpool’s future. The current season has seen a huge decline in his outings compared to the previous one. However, he did score a sumptuous goal against Brentford in September and his rising form will definitely be rewarded.
Raheem Sterling is one of the most talented players to have graduated from Liverpool’s academy. However, his memories of Anfield will never be joyous. The winger used to play for Queens Park Rangers before Liverpool signed him at the age of 15.
He did not take time to establish himself as he made his professional debut just two years later in 2012, becoming an instant fan favorite. Additionally, the presence of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge alongside him made them a threatening trio to be reckoned with.
However, his rising fame saw an abrupt end and he became the most loathed person at Anfield. Raheem Sterling rejected an improved contract and joined their rivals Manchester City, in 2015, for a then-record fee for an English player worth £50 million.
Regardless of the unpleasant departure, Sterling has been an absolute success at his new club. His vital contributions have played a huge role in City’s conquests since his arrival. Earlier this month, the 27-year-old reached a new milestone when he scored his 100th Premier League goal in the 1-0 victory against Wolves.
Liverpool are blessed with one of the most talented right-backs in the entire world. At just 23 years old, Trent Alexander-Arnold has already become an icon and one of the most successful graduates from Liverpool’s academy. Alexander-Arnold made his professional debut in 2016, and his arrival was what proved to be the stimulus for Liverpool’s historic success. He soon became Klopp’s primary choice, and his ability to play as a modern full-back helped the manager implement his plans triumphantly.
Alexander-Arnold made his professional debut in 2016, and his arrival was what proved to be the stimulus for Liverpool’s historic success. He soon became Klopp’s primary choice, and his ability to play as a modern full-back helped the manager implement his plans triumphantly.