Liverpool

The youngest players to debut for Liverpool since 2000

Mitchell Wilks
Ben Woodburn was set to be the next big star at Liverpool
Ben Woodburn was set to be the next big star at Liverpool / Ian Walton/Getty Images
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Between the highs and lows of Liverpool's 80s success, Premier League decline and subsequent rise once more, youth has regularly been turned to as a spark for a potential flame.

With 30 years of ups and more than a few downs, there's been plenty of room for experimentation and little to lose. Liverpool have regularly leaned on youth, with a number of interesting names debuting with the Reds.

Put the kettle on, grab your Nat Phillips and your Rhys Williams, and braid your top knot like Harvey Elliott. Here are the 30 youngest Liverpool players to debut since 2000.


30. Rafael Camacho (18 years, 7 months, 16 days)

Rafael Camacho
Camacho is back in Portugal / Octavio Passos/Getty Images

After spending time with Sporting CP and Manchester City, Liverpool snapped up winger Rafael Camacho in 2016.

A debut eventually came in 2019, but Camacho re-joined Sporting later that year.

29. Martin Kelly (18 years, 7 months, 12 days)

Martin Kelly
Contrary to popular belief, Martin Kelly did not just spawn in at Crystal Palace / Clive Mason/Getty Images

Martin Kelly's rise coincided with a bright spell under Rafa Benitez and highlighted a fine use of the loan system.

Having been a star in the reserves, he debuted in December 2008 in the Champions League, before heading out on loan to Huddersfield in 2009. He returned and became a regular in the side until he moved to Crystal Palace in 2014.

28. Jonjo Shelvey (18 years, 6 months, 26 days)

Jonjo Shelvey
Elite celebration / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Having debuted for Charlton at 16, Liverpool paid in excess of £1m to sign Jonjo Shelvey in 2010.

Shelvey debuted in a penalty shootout defeat to Northampton Town that September, and remained with the club until 2013 when he signed for Swansea.

27. Sheyi Ojo (18 years, 6 months, 20 days)

Cardiff City v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship
Ojo hasn't broken in at Liverpool / Athena Pictures/Getty Images

After ripping it up at MK Dons by playing for the Under-18s aged 13, Liverpool fended off competition from just about every angle to sign Sheyi Ojo in 2011.

After a few successful loans, Ojo was given his debut in the FA Cup in 2016, but has since fallen back into the loan system and has a fight on his hands if he wants a career with the Reds.

26. Neco Williams (18 years, 6 months, 17 days)

Neco Williams
Williams has earned full international status with Wales / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Having been with the club since the age of six, a debut against Arsenal in the League Cup in 2019 was a dream come true for Neco Williams.

Williams has since been involved with the first team more regularly and plays a rotational role in the squad, but has some work to do to get in regularly ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold.

25. Jake Cain (18 years, 5 months, 2 days)

Jake Cain
Cain turns out for Liverpool's youth sides / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Midfielder Jake Cain was handed his first team debut in January 2020 as a part of Liverpool's youngest ever lineup.

With Jurgen Klopp's squad resting up during the winter break, Cain and others had the chance to impress against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup.

24. Miki Roque (18 years, 4 months, 27 days)

Miki Roque
Roque passed away in 2012 / Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Plucked away from Spain by Rafa Benitez aged 17, defender Miki Roque signed for Liverpool in 2005 and made his debut a year later in the Champions League.

Roque sadly passed away following a battle with cancer in 2012 at the age of 23.

23. Adam Morgan (18 years, 4 months, 2 days)

Ricardo Charles, Adam Morgan
Adam Morgan faded out swiftly / Jan Kruger/Getty Images

At youth level, striker Adam Morgan went on a run of 18 goals from 16 games which catapulted him into the reserves.

He made his official Liverpool debut in August 2012 as a late substitute in the Europa League, but has since spent life after Liverpool knocking around at semi professional level.

22. Samed Yesil (18 years, 4 months, 1 day)

Ashley Williams, Samed Yesi
Yesil battles with Ashley Williams / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Having impressed Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool signed Bayer Leverkusen youth talent Samed Yesil in 2012 for roughly £1m.

Yesil's debut was a start against West Brom in the League Cup that year, but injuries and inconsistencies ravaged his time with the Reds and he was released in 2016.

21. Pedro Chirivella (18 years, 3 months, 25 days)

Pedro Chirivella
Chirivella left in 2020 / Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Liverpool put a lot of stock into Spaniard Pedro Chirivella when they signed him in 2013, moving him over and providing housing and work for his family.

The midfielder debuted as a substitute for Kolo Toure in the Europa League in 2015 before falling victim to the loan circle. He only left in 2020.

20. Emiliano Insua (18 years, 3 months, 21 days)

Dominic Kinnear, Emiliano Insua
Insua played for the LA Galaxy / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Despite barely being in the senior set-up at Boca Juniors, Emiliano Insua had impressed enough at youth level to warrant European attention and moved to Liverpool in in 2007, initially on loan.

His debut came that April in a defeat to Portsmouth and his deal was made permanent that summer. He left in 2013, and has since played in America, Turkey and everywhere between.

19. Jon Flanagan (18 years, 3 months, 10 days)

Jon Flanagan
Flanagan has one England cap to his name / Paul Gilham/Getty Images

11th April 2011. The day the Scouse Cafu was unleashed on the world stage.

Jon Flanagan debuted with a 90 minute performance in a 3-0 win over Manchester City and earned astonishingly rave reviews, before dwindling into absolutely nothing. Let's just not talk about this one again.

18. Jack Bearne (18 years, 3 months, 2 days)

Neil Critchley,Jack Bearne
Bearne being given words of advice during his senior debut / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Versatile forward Jack Bearne was handed his senior debut as a substitute in a League Cup tie against Aston Villa in 2019.

You know, the one where Liverpool had to play a bunch of children because they'd been scheduled two games of football inside 24 hours of each other, in two entirely different countries.

17. Joe Gomez (18 years, 2 months, 17 days)

Joe Gomez, Gabriel Jesus
Gomez has endured some torrid luck with injuries / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

An impressive season as a senior with Charlton was enough to convince Liverpool to sign teenager defender Joe Gomez.

Gomez registered an assist for the winning goal on his debut in August 2015, but suffered an ACL injury that October. Injuries continue to bog down Gomez, who has otherwise forged a seriously successful career for himself at Anfield.

16. Antonio Barragan (18 years, 1 month, 29 days)

Antonio Barragan, Jordan Ibe
Two ex-Liverpool youths battle for possession / Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Impressing in the youth ranks at Sevilla, Liverpool made Antonio Barragan their youngest ever foreign debutant in August 2005 when he appeared in a Europa League win over CSKA Sofia.

He never broke through with the Reds, but came back for another slice of the Barclays having signed with Middlesbrough in 2016 following their promotion to the top flight.

15. Leighton Clarkson (18 years, 1 month, 28 days)

Leighton Clarkson
Clarkson is gaining minutes in the Reds' youth ranks once again / Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Another substitute in Liverpool's heroic cup tie against Aston Villa in 2019, the bizarre fixture for neutrals was actually a special moment for plenty of lads involved with the club.

Leighton Clarkson was one, and the debut has since turned into a handful more appearances with the first team and a long-term contract with the club.

14. Billy Koumetio (18 years, 25 days)

FBL-EUR-C1-MIDTJYLLAND-LIVERPOOL
Koumetio made his debut in the Champions League / HENNING BAGGER/Getty Images

Born in 2002, Liverpool snapped up defender Billy Koumetio and handed him his first professional contract aged just 17.

Koumetio made his debut in the Champions League against FC Midtjylland in December 2020 and is raved about by supporters. Watch this space.

13. Trent Alexander-Arnold (18 years, 18 days)

Trent Alexander-Arnold
Local hero / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Trent, your debut against Tottenham was all the way back in 2016 now.

Please, please ditch the number 66 and pick a more appropriate one. Sincerely, all of football.

12. Curtis Jones (17 years, 11 months, 8 days)

Curtis Jones
Jones has become a regular under Klopp in recent times / Pool/Getty Images

Now we're not trying to book him into a Jon Flanagan-type overhyping angle here, but there is something very special around Curtis Jones.

The local lad made his debut in January 2019 having been with the club since he was nine, and has since developed tremendously under Jurgen Klopp. Playing alongside Thiago Alcantara could be crucial in his development.

11. Sepp van den Berg (17 years, 9 months, 5 days)

Sepp Van Den Berg
Van den Berg hasn't managed to break in despite injuries / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Liverpool spending £1.3m on a relatively unknown Sepp van den Berg in 2019 made the teenager feel like a rather big deal.

He debuted that September in the League Cup against MK Dons, but has since had to prove himself out on loan at Preston. You'd have thought there would've been a chance for him to shine in the wake of injuries to Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk.

10. Jordan Rossiter (17 years, 5 months, 30 days)

Jordan Rossiter
He even had the Steven Gerrard shirt tuck... / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Having come through the youth ranks, there was a belief that midfielder Jordan Rossiter was a serious talent.

He won the 2013/14 Academy Player of the Year award and was handed his first team debut in September 2014. Better yet, he opened his account on his debut with a shot rifled low and beyond the Middlesbrough goalkeeper. He left for Rangers in 2016.

9. Jordon Ibe (17 years, 5 months, 11 days)

Jordon Ibe
Bournemouth were rather keen on Ibe / Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Jordon Ibe debuting in the professional game aged 15 made him look a star from the off.

Liverpool snapped him up and he was given his debut for the Reds at 17 in 2013, assisting in a start against Queens Park Rangers. What's more impressive, however, was how they managed to sell him to Bournemouth for £15m.

8. Raheem Sterling (17 years, 3 months, 16 days)

Raheem Sterling
Once upon a time at Liverpool... / Michael Regan/Getty Images

When substituted on against Wigan in March 2012, Raheem Sterling became the third-youngest player to debut for Liverpool.

A 2014 Golden Boy award would follow, as would two Young Player of the Season awards from Liverpool, before he earned a move to Manchester City in a deal worth up to £49m.

7. Tom Hill (17 years, 2 months, 4 days)

tom hill
Hill in action against Aston Villa / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

A midfielder by trade, Tom Hill was given a start against Aston Villa in the League Cup in 2019, and signed a new deal in August 2020. Watch out for his name.

He was also born in 2002, just to make you feel old.

6. Ben Woodburn (17 years, 1 month, 11 days)

Ben Woodburn
Big things were expected of Ben Woodburn / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

The hype was serious when Ben Woodburn became Liverpool's third youngest debutant in November 2016 against Sunderland.

It was amplified further when he broke Michael Owen's record to become the club's youngest scorer three days later. He's struggled to progress as expected, however, and has since become lost in the shuffle.

5. Ki-Jana Hoever (16 years, 11 months, 20 days)

Ki-Jana Hoever
Liverpool were happy to sell Hoever / James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

You don't just hand first team, senior football debuts to any random 16-year-old, so when they get one, it's serious business.

Ironically, Ki-Jana Hoever's debut came against Wolves in January 2019; the club he would be sold to in 2020. The transfer felt like a serious coup for the Wanderers, but Hoever's progression in the coming years will be an interesting watch.

4. James Norris (16 years, 8 months, 13 days)

James Norris
Norris is impressing at youth level / Lewis Storey/Getty Images

The youngest of the young in Liverpool's fixture against Villa in December 2019, James Norris would've barely finished secondary school at the time.

Norris has since signed professional terms and continues to impress in Liverpool's youth ranks.

3. Jack Robinson (16 years, 8 months, 7 days)

Jack Robinson
How about those for some proper football boots? / Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Born in Cheshire and having progressed through the club's youth ranks, 16-year-old Jack Robinson was given his debut in Rafa Benitez's final game in charge in May 2010.

Opportunities beyond that were limited and Robinson eventually left in 2014, but he has since forged a successful career as a Championship level player.

2. Harvey Elliott (16 years, 5 months, 21 days)

Harvey Elliott
Harvey Elliott has the tools to force his way in at Anfield / Jan Kruger/Getty Images

If you can look beyond the questionable haircuts - difficult - then underneath there is a supremely talented footballer in Harvey Elliott.

He debuted for Fulham at 15 years old (fifteen!) and was swiftly snapped up by the Reds in 2019. He was handed his Liverpool debut that September against MK Dons and has since been getting regular and valuable minutes on loan at Blackburn. But please, sort that barnet out Harvey.

1. Jerome Sinclair (16 years, 6 days)

Jerome Sinclair
Sinclair moved to Watford but it hasn't worked out / Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The pressure that comes with being handed a senior debut for Liverpool just six days after your 16th birthday is unparalleled. We'd know. Obviously.

Jerome Sinclair was given that unique opportunity in September 2012 under Brendan Rodgers, and remains Liverpool's youngest debutant ever. Sinclair has struggled since and been as far as Bulgaria to bump start his career. There's still plenty of time for him to find his feet.

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