Jurgen Klopp Calls Up 8 Academy Stars to Liverpool First Team Ahead of Leicester Clash

Nov 19, 2020, 8:45 AM GMT
UEFA Champions League Group D"Ajax Amsterdam v Liverpool FC"
Liverpool's squad has been stretched thin | ANP Sport/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has drafted in eight academy players to help bolster his injury-ravaged squad ahead of Sunday's visit of Leicester City.

The Reds will definitely be without Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mohamed Salah, while doubts remain over the fitness of Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago, Jordan Henderson and Rhys Williams.

Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez
Both Van Dijk & Gomez suffered serious knee injuries | Robin Jones/Getty Images

It seems likely that Klopp will have to turn to his academy for some extra support over the coming weeks, and as noted by The Mirror, he used the international break to get a closer look at some of his young talent while his established stars were away.

Goalkeeper trio Vitezslav Jaros, Marcelo Pitaluga and Jakub Ojrzynski were all involved in training over the past week, although that was likely just to make up the numbers as both Alisson and Caoimhin Kelleher were both away with Brazil and the Republic of Ireland respectively.

In defence, the exciting Billy Koumetio was involved with the team. The 18-year-old has been tipped for big things at Anfield and may soon get his chance in the first team if Williams' hip injury proves to be a bad one.

Billy Koumetio
Koumetio has impressed Klopp | Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Midfielders Jake Cain and Leighton Clarkson were both given the chance to show their skills, while forwards Luis Longstaff and Paul Glatzel were thrown into the mix, with Klopp looking for potential alternatives to Salah.

The idea of seeing most of these youngsters in action over the next few weeks hardly seems outlandish, given the rotten luck which has plagued Liverpool when it comes to injuries. The Reds will definitely be without four key starters and may well end up missing another four - a situation which even the deepest of squads would struggle to cope with.

In some almost-positive news, the Daily Mail believe that Fabinho is 'close to returning' and Oxlade-Chamberlain is only a few weeks away, and both returns will come as a welcome boost to Liverpool as they prepare for a hectic winter schedule.

In the meantime, Liverpool's focus remains on table-toppers Leicester, after which the Reds will take on Atalanta and Brighton over in the six days that follow.

Klopp will be eager to rotate his squad to avoid injuries to any other players, but with so many seniors on the sidelines, expect some of the academy stars to be handed a minute or two over the coming weeks.

For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!

facebooktwitterreddit