Liverpool will play an intra-squad friendly at Kirkby on Saturday and training on Thursday gave us a glimpse of the exciting youngsters who should be involved.
Liverpool will enjoy their longest break of the season this month, with 20 days between their victory at Wolves and their next game at Arsenal.
With the FA Cup off the agenda and the first international break of the year to face, the Reds will miss a number of key faces in Kirkby.
Time will be up for all top officials to get a well-deserved break, but work continues to ensure the Reds hit the ground running when they return to the Emirates.
And that’s where the Liverpool academy stars will prove to be one of the benefactors of the three-week Liverpool break, with Klopp recruiting some of the club’s brightest young talents to make up the numbers.
The course was made more transparent following the move to Kirkby training base and on Thursday the manager and members of his senior team were joined by a young cohort of 16 men.
Some have already trained with the first team and will be recognizable to the Reds, including Ben Woodburn, Billy Koumetio, Leighton Clarkson and Jake Cain.
But those who wanted to follow in their footsteps and grab Klopp’s attention were there, with exciting Polish midfielder Mateusz Musialowski one of those looking to seize his chance.
The 17-year-old has provided the Under-18s with breathtaking moments this season with his glowing confidence of an exposed squad in addition to his composure and technique with the ball having lent itself to seven goals. and two assists in 17 games.
He’s one for the future but you can never say never, with Klopp true to his word that if you’re good enough you’re old enough.
Outstanding academy and summer all-rounder Melkamu Frauendorf was part of the squad, alongside other senior midfielders James Milner, Fabinho and Curtis Jones.
Continuing the theme of men in the middle, new signing and highly rated Kaide Gordon, who has four starts to his name for the Under-18s, was present alongside James Balagizi and Wirral-born Tyler Morton.
All three that the club will have high hopes for, but impressively it’s important to note that Morton has outscored every other academy prospect this season except the prolific Layton Stewart, with nine to his name. .
With a shortage of defensemen at the senior level, a four-man contingent of Owen Beck, Conor Bradley, Jarell Quansah and James Norris took the pitch and rubbed shoulders with Xherdan Shaqiri, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita.
Quansah has always been there for the U18s as a center-back, with parts of the game from the Warrington-born compared to Rhys Williams, such is his poise and calm nature.
Bradley is one to watch as an emerging right-back, who is as persistent in defense as he is in attack, with one goal and three assists this season. He’s the type not to fear a tackle or a challenge.
Luis Longstaff, who is no stranger to first-team training after speaking regularly with Klopp and Co, was in attendance and no doubt helped test young scorers Harvey Davies and Jakub Ojrzynski.
It has been a few weeks since the duo were named to a Champions League and Premier League squad of the day respectively following the injury of Caoimhin Kelleher.
Nat Phillips, Alisson, Adrian, Neco Williams, Kostas Tsimikas, Rhys Williams and Ben Davies completed the senior contingent on Thursday and their very presence will prove invaluable to the stars of the Reds academy in training and during the intra-game. club.
And while it will be anything but easy for the youngsters mentioned above to make their way into Klopp’s squad in the immediate future, knowing that the path exists will only benefit everyone.