This week has been a hectic week for every player at Liverpool Football Club, as the new signings are introduced to the players and of course pre-season training gets underway, but there has been a lot of action off the training ground for the Academy Players.
Professional Contracts and Academy Scholarships
4 Liverpool Under 18 players have signed professional contracts with the team this week, with a further 15 players signing Academy Scholarships with the club. After a breakthrough to the first team substitutes bench last season, 17 year old Lloyd Jones was the biggest name to sign a contracts whilst fellow Under 18s winger Alex O’Hanlon, forward Daniel Trickett-Smith and goalkeeper Ryan Fulton also sign a professional contract following a very impressive season at an individual level for Steve Coopers Under 18s.
Also 15 other Academy players signed an Academy Scholarship with the club today, including the likes of the youngest ever Liverpool player Jerome Sinclair, Jordan Rossiter and new signing Kristof Polgar. The 15 players that signed Academy scholarships are:
Jack Alexander, Tom Brewitt, Andy Firth, Sam Hart, Ryan Kent, Will Marsh, Seyi Ojo, Kristof Polgar, David Roberts, Louis Robles, Jordan Rossiter, Jerome Sinclair, Matthew Virtue-Thick, Dahrius Waldron and Harry Wilson.
Signings and Departures
After every season, there will always be transfers at any club and this is no different for Liverpool’s Academy. As well as releasing five players at the end of last season, Liverpool have also brought in more additions to the squad following the signings of Sergi Canos from Valencia and potentially Pedro Chirivella from Valencia. Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Liverpool have signed 14 year old Herbie Kane from Bristol City, after the player announced it on his Twitter account. Another 14 year old that Liverpool signed this week was West Bromwich Albion midfielder Yan Dhanda, as he also announced the move via his Twitter account and becomes the 2nd player to move from West Brom to Melwood in recent years after the Reds signed Jerome Sinclair from the Baggies. Although he has trailed for Liverpool twice already, the club has officially signed Hungarian defender Kristof Polgar this week, despite playing the majority of last season for the Under 16s.
With new arrivals comes new departures, and the biggest departure from the Academy is that of Under 21 Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, who has signed for Premier League side Swansea City for a reported £6m, which many would consider a very good deal for the Reds, after his performances last season. The last departure from Liverpool this week is not a player but a coach, and it is a decision that will surprise many people who follow the Academy. The coach that has left the club is Under 18s coach Steve Cooper. As mentioned before, it has come as a surprise to all Liverpool fans, after he guided Liverpool Under 18s to the FA Youth Cup Semi Final and to 4th in the domestic league, despite losing several players to Alex Inglethorpe’s Under 21s at the latter part of the season. There is no official confirmation as to who will replace Cooper for the 2013/14 season, but it is rumoured that Cooper’s assistant last season Mike Garitty will take over at Under 18s level.
There has been few rumours this week, but one significant rumour is Liverpool have dropped their interest in Ghanaian winger Christian Atsu, because they are willing to use Under 21 wingers Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe instead next season, and it’ll be cheaper for the club and has the potential to be a very good decision by the Reds. Another rumour coming out of Melwood is that Under 21 and Under 18 forward Jack Dunn is on the way to rivals Chelsea, the winger scored in every round of last seasons FA Youth Cup except from the Semi-Final against his linked team Chelsea, who finished runners up of the competition. Also, there have been reports that Under 21 centre back Andre Wisdom could be on his way to Championship side Wigan as part of a loan deal, which will see the defender gain valuable game time in a very good standard of football, which will help him if he is going to be a success at Liverpool in years to come.
The last rumour that has come out of Melwood this week is about Under 21s midfielder Krisztian Adorjan and his future, as it looks likely that he will move to Dutch club Groningen, as the club has been interested in the Hungarian for a number of years. It is reported that Adorjan will train with the Groningen squad of July 8th, however Liverpool only want to loan the Midfielder, but Groningen want to sign him on a permanent basis, so it will be interesting to see how this story develops over the coming weeks.
That’s all the news that has come out of Melwood this week (W/C 30/06/2013). If you enjoyed this weekly round up and think I should do this every Friday, just let me know by either commenting on this blog, or sending me a tweet on my Twitter (@scotttayloruk), where you can also follow me for more updates about Liverpool’s Academy. If you are, like me, interested in Liverpool’s Academy, be sure to look out for more content on this blog about the Academy, as the 2013/14 season edges closer.