In another blog for the site, I explore the possibilities of some key Under 21 players that could benefit from loan spells to clubs all over Europe and highlight what players I think would benefit the most, happy reading!
There are some of Alex Inglethorpe’s Liverpool Under 21 squad who could benefit from a loan move away from Kirkby. All the players know that if they are to break into the first team setup at Liverpool, then game time is a valuable attribute to have. Many of the Under 21s have been loaned out this season such as Conor Coady, Suso and Krisztian Adorjan and they have done well for their respective clubs. As mentioned before, loaning out experienced Under 21 players will help both the club and the player, as the player will gain some vital experience and the club can promote some Under 18 players into the setup like Jordan Lussey, Jordan Rossiter and Cameron Brannagan have been this season.
However, loan moves may not even develop the player, a prime example being Craig Roddan, who made just one substitute appearance for League One side Carlisle United last month. It can also be the complete opposite with players being linked to loan moves and then staying and becoming a better player. An example of this would be both Raheem Sterling and Jon Flanagan, who seem to have cemented their place in the first team’s starting XI.
Below are the players that may benefit from a loan move:
First up is 17 year old winger Jordon Ibe. Ibe has had an illustrious last 12 months with the Reds, going from shining for the Under 18s in the youth cup, to assisting Phillipe Coutinho in the final game of the Premier League season at Anfield. However, since his debut in May, first team opportunites have been hard to come by for the winger and this is for two reasons. Firstly, the Reds have had their best season in a number of years, becoming serious contenders for a top 4 spot and outside title challengers, meaning that Brendan Rodgers would rather stay with a performing squad rather than risk too many young players. Secondly, Ibe is easily Alex Inglethorpe’s best player for the Under 21s, which speaks volumes due to the fact that he is only 17 years of age. Even though he only has 2 goals all season, Ibe’s primary role in the squad is to create opportunites and he does this perfectly. His most notable performance was in the game against Middlesbrough in November last year, where Ibe assisted all 4 goals that the Under 21s scored to pick up yet another man of the match performance.
The talented winger has already been linked with loan moves in both England and Scotland, with clubs such as Derby, Brentford and more recently Hearts after the England Under 19 international’s signature. But having featured for the Reds in some cup competitions this season, Ibe will be looking to impress in the best division possible, so I personally would loan him out to Championship play-off contenders Derby. The reason I didn’t choose League One title contenders Brentford is that he has impressed in the lower divisions when he was 15, playing 11 times for Wycombe scoring once.
The next Under 21 player that should be loaned out is playmaker Joao Teixeira. Teixeira has been phenomenal for the Under 21s this season, being the most consistent performer just behind Jordon Ibe. It is evident Joao Teixeira needs game time, as it seems that the Reds are never going to give Joao a chance, because they intend to promote younger midfielders such as Rossiter and Brannagan before him, so a loan move is a must. He has already been on loan this season, but his month with Brentford didn’t go to plan, as he made a few late appearances, coming on with just minutes to play. Despite his lack of success with the League One side, Teixeira seemed to have gained some valuable experience as since his return, Teixeira has scored 5 League goals, and in doing so becoming the highest goalscorer for the Under 21s this season. Teixeira is also an Portugal Under 21 international, so he needs minutes to consolidate his place in the side.
Last season, he was linked with a loan move to Serie ‘A’ side Bologna, and a club like that would be absolutely perfect for Teixeira, so that other clubs can see what talent he has to offer so that his chances of a first team opportunity will increase.
The next player is a debatable decision, because he has already made the bench a few times for the first team this season, but Danny Ward would benefit from a loan move so that he can play in a better standard than the Under 21s. Unlike, outfield players, goalkeepers would be more likely to go to teams who are lower down the league, as they may get more action and thus develop as a shot stopper. Ward was recently called up to the Wales national squad and if he is to continue being a Wales International, then minutes are valuable for his progress Ward is another important player for the Under 21s, thoroughly impressing in the 1-0 defeat at home to Man United in February 2013 in a game that could have been 5 or 6-0 if it wasn’t for Ward. A reason why Ward hasn’t been considered for a loan move as of yet is because Ryan Fulton is currently injured and there are no suitable replacements for the Number 1 jersey, as Ryan Crump has been wildly inconsistent for the Under 18s and Yusuf Mersin hasn’t had enough game time for the Under 21s. Ward has had no offers as of yet, but he could be a player to benefit from a loan move, ideally to a Championship or League One side.
Thanks for reading this feature on my blog, and let me know which Under 21 players you would loan out by leaving a comment below, or tweeting me @ScottTaylorUK with your opinion, and be sure to follow me while you’re at it!