The local lad who lit up the derby, a teenage record breaker and ‘the next Van Dijk’: Liverpool’s young guns ready to step up now Jurgen Klopp has been forced to keep the chequebook closed
- Liverpool are one of the many clubs set to be hit hard by the coronavirus crisis
- The financial impact on football is set to be lasting, and has altered many plans
- Liverpool’s summer spending look to have been curtailed as a result of Covid-19
- Sportsmail takes a look at the players who now have chance to step up and shine
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
With the upcoming summer transfer window set to be distorted like never before, the lasting financial impacts of coronavirus have shown no team will be spared, regardless of stature.
Jurgen Klopp’s high-flying Liverpool held grand spending ambitions for the summer, with a minor rebuild planned. Yet now the financial repercussions of the pandemic mean such ideas have now taken a devastating set back, with the purse strings drastically tightened.
With the chequebook set to be placed on hold, a golden opportunity may well have presented itself to those waiting in the wings. Sportsmail takes a look at the Liverpool youngsters chomping at the bit and looking to make their mark.
Liverpool’s exciting youngsters may be set to benefit from the club’s financial adjustments
Nobody will be eyeing up this opportunity more than Curtis Jones, the local lad who so far this season has given a stellar account of himself.
The 19-year-old will be observing the current situation and perhaps liken circumstances to that at Chelsea, whereby an inability to sign fresh meat saw the likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham step up to the plate and be rewarded with starting berths as a result.
When thrust into the action against Everton in the FA Cup in January, Jones flourished where many others would have failed. His sublime, curled winner feels like a signs of things to come, rather than a one-off freak occurrence.
Local hero Curtis Jones has been itching for chances and shows reassurance when trusted
The versatility of the Liverpudlian across the midfield has provided great comfort to Klopp, who has shown a willingness to dish out chances, so long as youngsters can both adhere to the fitness demands and intense tactical rigours.
Time and time again the Reds have knocked back loan demands for Jones, with Blackburn Rovers having approached the club to request a season-long tenure, with the promise of first team football.
Already on the cusp of senior plans, Jones has proved he is ready for consistent responsibility. Becoming a Liverpool regular at the age of 20 would see Jones follow in the footsteps of Steven Gerrard and a certain Trent Alexander-Arnold. Big boots indeed.
It is testament to Elliott’s development that he is so regularly spoken about as a potential breakthrough star, despite having only just turned 17.
His move from Fulham, the west London club who made him officially the Premier League’s youngest ever player, created much hype for the attacking midfielder. Much of which he has lived up to.
In plentiful opportunity in cup competition this season Elliott hasn’t once looked out of place.
Harvey Elliott has accelerated through the ranks and is seen as one for the future at Anfield
A man of the match performance against MK Dons elevated Elliott further in public consciousness, with vice-captain James Milner having previously insisted the youngster is that good he simply ‘needs to play’ and reach his full potential.
Such is his tender years it would be foolish for Elliott to be thrust straight into the limelight next season, particularly for a club on such a trajectory as Liverpool’s.
Cutting his teeth with Premier League minutes sprinkled throughout the campaign does however appear highly likely.
Perhaps no player will be rubbing their hands in anticipation as much as Rhian Brewster.
Renowned for his quick thinking and natural movement, Liverpool have dizzyingly high hopes for the 20-year-old from Dagenham.
Rhian Brewster has shown he can handle the Championship and now wants top-tier action
It is no secret the Reds were in the market for big name attacking personnel this summer. Timo Werner was the name heavily tipped to pull on the red shirt, though financial uncertainty now surrounds the move.
Liverpool’s potential loss, in this sense, could well be Brewster’s gain. Serious injury set the youngster back last season, though a loan spell this year with Swansea has helped Brewster show off his obvious talent.
Taking little time to adjust, the striker hit four goals in 11 Championship appearances before the season was postponed, collecting a string of man of the match awards.
Along with his defensive partner Sepp van den Berg, Hoever is one of the most highly rated talents in the Liverpool youth set up.
The Dutchman has already been handed a selection of chances, and was thrust onto the main stage against Wolves last season following a freak early injury to Dejan Lovren in the cup.
Dutchman Ki-Jana Hoever is rated hugely by both club and country, despite being just 18
Liverpool are keeping their cards close to their chest with Hoever, who is competent playing across the back line or in a sitting, defensive midfield role.
Within the international scene, Hoever is being accelerated through the ranks and seen as the next big break-out star in the Orange shirt.
Comparisons of the youngster to Virgil van Dijk have been brushed off by the club, who want Hoever to carve out a role of his own. The likeness, though, is rather uncanny.
Like his compatriot, Hoever’s ice cool ability on the ball provides a tranquil reassurance with strength and pace matched in abundance and a remarkable passing repertoire.
Klopp’s side have shown this season how much injuries can bite, with set-backs to both Joel Matip and Joe Gomez. With a year of added maturity under his belt, Hoever could soon be answering the call and featuring alongside Van Dijk.
Next season was always set to provide a huge opportunity for young Welshman Neco Williams, who has the unenviable task of somehow competing with Alexander-Arnold.
At just 21 Alexander-Arnold looks set to go on to be one of Liverpool’s all time longest serving players, yet Williams has shown encouraging signs within the last 12 months that he is very much in the same mould.
Klopp’s side is crying out not only for adequate full-back reserves, but also personnel who are adept in providing the kind of play regularly supplied by Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. Explosive, attacking play with rapid interchanges and pinpoint crossing ability.
Neco Williams has shown signs of being the next big full-back to emerge at Liverpool
Training alongside the duo on a daily basis and evidently sharpened the game of Williams, who is in the process of being fast-tracked into the Wales national side.
Limited summer spending may now deter Liverpool from investing a portion of funds in forward-thinking defenders, meaning Williams is much more likely to be retained and not considered for a loan stint.
His coming of age performance against Shrewsbury Town at Anfield, in which his menacingly deep cross forced an own goal and ultimately won the tie, may well be a more regular occurrence in the months ahead.
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