With just two days to go until Liverpool face Middlesbrough in the third round of the Capital One Cup, everyone is thinking about team selection as this competition tends to be one which allows rotation and younger players to break through. It was only two years ago when Under 18s striker Jerome Sinclair became Liverpool’s youngest ever player when he came on and helped the Reds beat West Brom 2-1 at the Hawthorns.
With Liverpool’s current form this season being inconsistent to say the least, manager Brendan Rodgers may opt to use the strength in depth that he brought in in this season’s summer transfer window, instead of playing a few youngsters. This is not because the Northern Irishman is disinterested in young players, but Liverpool are in a situation where they need to win to ease the pressure on the club’s recent results. However, below will be some youngsters who should be given the opportunity to play an Anfield on Tuesday.
One of many summer signings, 21 year old defender Kevin Stewart is a youngster who should be given the chance. Having been coached by Academy Director Alex Inglethorpe when he was an Under 21 coach at Tottenham, Stewart had potential and that is why Inglethorpe brought him in. The centre-back played a huge part in Liverpool’s pre-season and after impressing for the Under 21s so far this season, Stewart should be given the opportunity to play in front of the Anfield faithful.
He will also bring a new idea to the defence, which is something Liverpool badly need after defensive errors have been costly in the opening few games of the season.
Another player with a lot of potential is 17 year old midfielder Jordan Rossiter. It needed just one season of FA Youth Cup action for the Academy staff to see what talent this youngster has and therefore promoted him to the Under 21s aged just 16, where he was the stand-out player in most matches. He was an unused substitute for the games with Chelsea and Hull in the Christmas period, so being around the first team is something that isn’t new for the Scouser. Many have tipped him to take over from Steven Gerrard when he eventually retires, and a game against a Championship side should be a good test for the local lad on Tuesday night.
Ryan Kent is one of many good wingers that Liverpool have in their Academy. The reason that Kent deserves a chance over the likes of Wilson and Canos is because the England Under 18 international has tore defences apart with his pace and trickery. He can also play anywhere in the front line, but is a joy to watch on the right wing. This will also allow Raheem Sterling to take a well deserved break and give the Reds’ fans to get a chance to see another exciting prospect in action.
Due to the importance of this game, Rodgers may opt to use a few youngsters if any, so that is why only three were selected. Others that may feature on the bench are the likes of Lloyd Jones, Cameron Brannagan, Samed Yesil and Sheyi Ojo.
Who do you think Rodgers will play on Tuesday? What youngsters deserve a chance to succeed? If you have an answer to any of those questions, then feel free to leave comments below.