By Scott Taylor
Sheyi Ojo has rounded off a fine week for the Liverpool Academy by receiving an England U19 call-up, as the U19s finish the 2016 Spax Cup in third place. There has also been a first professional contract for U18s goalkeeper Shamal George as well as potential moves to the Football League for Alex O’Hanlon. However, Jordan Rossiter has signed for Rangers on a four-year deal whilst young defenders Dan Cleary and Kristof Polgar have been released by the club. Here is this week’s Academy round-up:
Liverpool Starlet Sheyi Ojo Receives England U19s Call-Up
Sheyi Ojo has been called up to the England U19 squad for their trip to Mexico next month as they prepare for the U19 UEFA European Championships. Ojo has been selected by Aidy Boothroyd as part of a 24-man squad after breaking into the Liverpool side, scoring twice and making five assists in 13 games this season. He will look to feature for the young Lions for their games on 4 and 6 June.
Liverpool U19s finish 2016 Spax Cup in 3rd place
Paulo Alves scored the winner as Liverpool U19s beat Wolfsburg 1-0 in the third/fourth play-off in the 2016 Spax Cup. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Brooks Lennon scored as the Reds began their season with a 2-2 draw with Schalke, before contesting a stalemate with Atletico Mineiro in their next game. Toni Gomes then scored both goals as Liverpool beat HSV Frankfurt 2-0 in their final group game to set up a semi-final with Arsenal. However, the Reds suffered a 1-0 defeat to their Premier League counterparts, setting up a 3rd11/4th play-off with Wolfsburg.
Liverpool Midfielder Jordan Rossiter Joins Rangers On Four-Year Deal
Jordan Rossiter has completed a permanent move to Scottish Premier League side Rangers on a four-year deal. The midfielder, 19, was highly-rated by the coaching staff at Liverpool, but injury has disrupted his progress and therefore plans to sign a new contract stuttered. This allowed Rangers to make a formal approach for the midfielder, who put pen to paper on a contract until the summer of 2020. Rossiter leaves Liverpool after 13 years at the club, making five first-team appearances for the Reds as well as 33 appearances for the club’s youth sides.
Liverpool Goalkeeper Shamal George Signs First Professional Contract
Liverpool U18 goalkeeper Shamal George has signed his first professional contract with the club. George, 18, has been a regular in Neil Critchley’s U18s this season, helping them finish fourth in the Premier League play-offs as well as making it to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup. The shot-stopper has travelled with the first-team on numerous occasions this season, and has travelled with the Reds for their Europa League final against Sevilla on Wednesday.
Liverpool Defenders Daniel Cleary and Kristof Polgar Released By Club
Daniel Cleary and Kristof Polgar are among the Liverpool players released by the club at the end of the season. Cleary, 20, signed for the Reds five years ago, and made 36 appearances for the youth teams at the clubs, but failed to make a single first-team appearance for the club. He was an unused substitute for Liverpool in their 1-1 draw at Bordeaux in the Europa League in September. Cleary is an Ireland U21 international after representing the U19s.
Polgar, 19, joined the club from Hungarian side MTK in July 2012. He progressed through the U18s and into the U21s, where his progress was halted, as he made just three appearances for Michael Beale’s side as well as appearing as an unused substitute in the UEFA Youth League for the U19s. Polgar is a Hungary U21 international after representing the U20s and U19s.
Liverpool Midfielder Alex O’Hanlon Linked With Sheffield Wednesday, Oxford United and Nottingham Forest
Alex O’Hanlon has attracted interest from numerous football league clubs, including Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Oxford United, as he looks set to leave Liverpool. The Irishman, 20, has failed to make a first-team appearance for the Reds, and has been a regular in the U21s, making a total of 38 appearances, scoring two goals and creating four assists. O’Hanlon has been dubbed a ‘Premier League quality’ passer of the ball, and was on trial at Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, and it looks set that three clubs are battling for his signature, after Bristol City lost interest this week.