All you need to know about the Liverpool youngsters taking the first team by storm


All you need to know about the Liverpool youngsters taking the first team by storm

Jayden Danns scored his first goals for Liverpool with a pair of clinical finishes against Southampton
Jayden Danns scored his first goals for Liverpool with a pair of clinical finishes against SouthamptonReuters
Jurgen Klopp's young guns dominated the headlines after Liverpool's EFL Cup victory over Chelsea on Sunday, with several players aged 21 or under getting their hands on a first piece of silverware for the club.

Fresh from their Wembley heroics, Liverpool’s ‘kids’ produced another assured display on Wednesday evening to seal their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals after beating Championship side Southampton 3-0

Want to know more about Liverpool’s latest crop of youngsters? We’ve taken a closer look at five players aged 21 or under who have all impressed in the absence of key personnel for Klopp’s injury-ravaged side. 

Jarell Quansah (21)

Having joined Liverpool’s academy at the age of eight, Quansah was highly regarded as he progressed through the age groups before going on to captain the under-18s side. 

After a relatively low-key loan spell with third-tier Bristol Rovers last season, the Warrington-born defender has become a key member of Klopp’s squad.

Quansah had already featured a number of times in the first team before Joel Matip’s season-ending injury in December, but the centre-back has since become a regular starter in both league and cup - amassing over 20 appearances this campaign. 

With one of the world’s best centre-backs Virgil van Dijk to learn from on a day-to-day basis as well as the likes of Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez, Quansah’s development over the next few years will be exciting to watch. 

Conor Bradley (20)

After impressing for Liverpool during pre-season, an unfortunate stress fracture kept Bradley on the sidelines during the first four months of the season.

The Northern Ireland international, who joined Liverpool from Dungannon in 2019, returned to competitive action against LASK in late November and has earned rave reviews for his performances in the absence of vice-captain Trent Alexander-Arnold

Bradley scored his first Premier League goal in last month’s 4-1 win over Chelsea and produced another eye-catching display against Mauricio Pochettino’s side on Sunday. 

Displacing Alexander-Arnold in the long term will be an altogether different challenge, but Bradley has certainly given Klopp a selection dilemma ahead of the final few months of the season. 

James McConnell (19)

McConnell swapped Sunderland for Liverpool in 2019, and after playing regularly for the under-18s at the age of 16, he signed a professional contract with the club soon after his 17th birthday. 

The Northumberland-born midfielder became captain of the under-21s earlier this campaign, and his impressive development was rewarded with a first senior start against Norwich in the FA Cup fourth round - where he registered an assist for Liverpool’s opener. 

Having predominantly played as an attacking midfielder during his time in the under-18s, McConnell has gradually been moulded into a number six. 

While the youngster has provided a glimpse of his talent in recent weeks, the influential presence of Wataru Endo at the base of Liverpool’s midfield might mean minutes are a little harder to come by for McConnell as the Reds target a historic quadruple. 

Bobby Clark (19) 

Another midfielder who has drawn plenty of attention is Clark - son of former Premier League footballer Lee Clark, who played over 500 games for Newcastle, Sunderland and Fulham

The versatile youngster joined the Reds from Newcastle in 2021 and scored 13 goals for the under-18s in his first season at the club.

Clark made his senior debut for Liverpool over 18 months ago in a record-equalling 9-0 win over Bournemouth and has featured a number of times recently in both the Premier League and the domestic cups. 

His importance to the senior squad has long been appreciated by Klopp, with Liverpool rejecting several loan bids for Clark in the recent January transfer window. 

Jayden Danns (18)

Following in the footsteps of Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones, Danns is the latest Liverpool-born product from the club’s academy to make a positive impression on the first team.  

Danns made his debut in the 4-1 win over Luton last week, and after an all-action cameo in Sunday’s final, the forward scored his first goals for the club with a pair of clinical finishes against Southampton on Wednesday evening. 

He is the son of former footballer Neil Danns, and following his debut against Luton, Hatters boss Rob Edwards joked with Klopp: “I played with his Dad!”

It remains to be seen whether Danns can keep his place in the senior squad when the likes of Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota return to fitness, but the early signs all point towards a bright future for the scouser. 


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