Jurgen Klopp has been expressing his delight over the quality of players coming out of our Kirkby academy.
It’s probably not since the mid-1990s that we’ve had so many youngsters knocking on the door of the first team at the same time – last season Klopp gave debuts to Ryan Kent, Kevin Stewart, Danny Ward, Sheyi Ojo, Connor Randall, and Joe Maguire – as well as giving further serious opportunities to the likes of Cameron Brannagan, Pedro Chirivella, and Brad Smith.
“Last season we had Ojo, Brannagan, Randall, Smith, Stewart and Chirivella who played in real games for the first-team,” Klopp said (via Echo).
“We’ve had Ben Woodburn, Ovie Ejaria and Trent playing for us in the friendly games. Shamal George has been in a good way too.
“That’s eight or nine. What do we want? We want 20 of this quality.”
He also insisted that he was more than happy with the way things were working between himself and the academy staff, and he would not be changing anything in the short-term:
“There is absolutely no reason to change things. It’s not about changing people, it’s sometimes about changing a situation. How can we build an even better situation for them?
“The Academy has done well to bring them to this level. I don’t know whether we could have done it better but I know that they’ve done a good job.
“We have to keep working on the things we can make better but that doesn’t mean changing people.”
He concluded by admitting he was just as keen to see local lads in the team as the fans are.
“If there’s a player who is a Scouser and can play football then we should go for him 100%. But it’s not the first thing we should think about.
“That’s how it should be. They need to know about the possibility.
“These guys know now that if they improve and make the next steps then they will have a real future here.”