By Scott Taylor
Toni Gomes and Sam Hart are the latest on the long line of youngster from the Kirkby Academy to make their debuts for Liverpool. The U23s duo came on as substitutes as Jurgen Klopp’s side ended their pre-season schedule with a 4-0 defeat at Mainz. Hart and Gomes are one of ten Liverpool youngsters to have been involved with Jurgen Klopp’s side at the start of the season, and here’s all you need to know about them.Gomes, 17, is a prolific striker that played for the club’s U18s side last season and will make the step up to the U23s ahead of the 2016/17 season.
The Portuguese youth international joined the Reds at the start of 2015, and quickly made the step up from U17 to U18 level.
In his breakthrough season with Neil Critchley’s side, he netted more than 15 goals and was formidable alongside Yan Dhanda and Ben Woodburn as an attacking trio.
His performances earned him a call-up to the U21s in the 1-0 defeat to leaders Sunderland and he then made his first start in the 5-0 loss at home to Southampton five months later.
During the season, Gomes also moved up the youth ranks on the international stage, where he currently plays for Portugal U18s.
The striker then ended a memorable season with his first professional contract with the club, and heads into the new season off the back of a hat-trick from the U19s in the 3-0 win against Shanghai SPIG in the Ruhr Cup.
Hart, 19, is a left-back who signed from Liverpool’s arch-rivals Manchester United in January 2013.
He wasn’t a permanent fixture for the U18s, with Joe Maguire and Brad Smith ahead of him in the pecking order, but is experienced at U23 level.
After making his debut for the then U21s in the 2-0 defeat to Southampton in March 2015, Hart has gone on to make 19 appearances, featuring in the full 90 minutes on nine occasions.
The promising left-back has been known to play as a central defender when required, and may do so as a result of Lloyd Jones’ loan move to Swindon last week.
After being involved in a collision with Dhanda, which kept the latter out for four months, Hart broke through from the U23s to the first-team.
Liverpool are reportedly keen on bringing in a left-back to provide competition for Alberto Moreno, and Hart may get further opportunities should a left-back not come in during the transfer window.