With a Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA World Cup medal under his young belt, it is easy to forget that Trent Alexander-Arnold is only about to turn 22 this year.
The once slight-framed and bright-eyed Scouser is now widely recognized as one of the best right-backs in world football, constantly redefining the fullback position along with Andy Robertson.
Alexander-Arnold broke through into the first team at just 18, graduating from Liverpool’s academy where he had been there since he was a kid – captaining the Reds at various youth levels.
Here, we take a look at eight other young players in the academy who have shown glimpses of emulating the success of our number 66, and just a warning: the future sure looks blindingly bright.
8. Paul Glatzel
The young forward burst onto the scenes in the 2018/19 season, scoring 28 goals for the U18s in that campaign. Glatzel has been with the academy since the U9 level, and is capable of playing as a striker or an attacking midfielder. He has committed his future to the club by penning a long-term deal, and his enormous potential and strong hold-up play could well see him establish himself as the next Roberto Firmino if he manages to stay injury-free.
7. Ben Woodburn
Currently on loan at Oxford United, Woodburn was one of the brightest young players in the 2016/17 season – his substitute appearance against Sunderland made him Liverpool’s third youngest debutant of all time at the age of 17 years and 42 days. Injuries have unfortunately hampered his fledgling career thus far, but time is on the young Welshman side and he has definitely the potential to navigate his way into the Reds senior team. 6. Sepp Van den Berg
It is probably not easy to be a Dutch defender and play for Liverpool, with comparisons to Virgil van Dijk inevitably drawn. Admittedly, Van den Berg has not had the best start to his Liverpool career, struggling in a couple of senior appearances. But at just 18, the towering Dutch defender has all the tools to turn it around. And when your mentor happens to be the best defender in the world, we are confident he can justify the pretty hefty price tag Liverpool splashed out for him in 2019.
5. Ki-Jana Hoever
Capable of playing across the back four, Hoever joined Liverpool in August 2018 despite interests from other top European clubs. He featured in the U18 and U23s before quickly jumping ranks and training with Jurgen Klopp’s side, with the German boss describing him as a “joy to watch”. The confident defender has definitely the potential to be one of the all-time Liverpool greats if he keeps up his progress, and has already left his name in the record books by becoming the fourth-youngest player to score for Liverpool’s first team. 4. Rhian Brewster
The English forward is currently on loan at Swansea after finding first team opportunities hard to come by with the Reds. It is easy to forget what an incredible talent Brewster is, as he had shown glimpse of his potential way back in 2016 and have had injuries hampered his development. But Brewster has definitely bags of ability, and his inclusion in that semi-final second leg against Barcelona is testament to that. It is probably a mammoth task for anyone to usurp the current front three, but this young Englishman could well be leading the line for Liverpool in the coming years.
3. Neco Williams
One of the most exciting prospects in Liverpool’s academy, Williams is a flying Welsh full-back that could give Alexander-Arnold a good run for his money in the near future. He is an industrious player who enjoys going forward, and just like Alexander-Arnold – was converted into a right-back after starting his youth career in midfield. Those traits that he had picked up in midfielder are clearly serving him well, and with young Williams under the wing of Alexander-Arnold, the future is looking increasingly bright for Liverpool’s fullback positions.
2. Harvey Elliot
What were you doing at the age of 15? Well, young Elliot was putting on the famous white stripes for Fulham and becoming the youngest player to play in the EFL Cup. A year later, he replicated that feat in the Premier League, making his league debut as a substitute against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The boyhood Liverpool fan joined the Reds in 2019, and has already impressed his new teammates. We are hoping we get to see more of his electrifying performances should Liverpool wrap up the league early, but we are certain he will be knocking on Klopp’s door soon enough.
1. Curtis Jones
The talented and versatile midfielder has really impressed this season, putting in several man-of-the-match performances when given the chance. His ridiculous composure on the ball belies his tender age, while his eye for a killer pass and scoring instinct could see him establish himself as a future England star. Adam Lallana’s imminent exit might lead to more opportunities for Jones, who will be excited to add to his collection of spectacular goals.
Look away now, Jordan Pickford.