Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has reiterated just how hard he will be pushing his U18s ahead of his maiden season in charge of the club’s youngsters.
An already highly-talented first team squad is set to be strengthened even more during this summer’s transfer window, thereby challenging the youth prospects to take their fight for a future at Anfield to the next level.
To play under the guidance of one of the club’s greatest players of all time represents an invaluable opportunity to learn from a man who has performed at the highest level and knows what is required to make it to the top.
“There’s a lot of talent, a lot of talent, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: to play for Liverpool’s first team, you’ve got to be world-class,” Gerrard told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I think it’s changed – I think 10/15 years ago, you could play for Liverpool’s first team if you were very good. You can’t do that anymore because the players that are there are world-class, so to move someone out of the way and become a regular, you’ve got to be world-class.”
“You’ve got to be world-class every day; the values of our club will never change, so I am not going to come in and try and change any of the values. It’ll be more of the same, but trying to tell them that every single day you’ve got to be obsessed to play for Liverpool’s first team.”
“We’ve got a job to do and that’s to try and push them and get every single bit of effort and determination. We’ve got to try and push them to give them a little bit more, but we’re in good shape and we’ve got some really, really good footballers in there and I am really looking forward to helping them if I can.”
The abundance of talent Jurgen Klopp has at his disposal makes holding down a place in the senior side incredibly difficult, yet breakthroughs for the likes of Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold prove it is by no means an impossibility.
Gerrard’s focus towards being obsessed is an approach he has lived by ever since being appointed to his new role. It’s not only about technical ability to him but a desperation to learn, to improve and to be the best. It is doing so that will then grant the club’s youth products the stage on which to prove their natural talent.
Fans have good reason to keep a watchful eye on what the U18s get up to next season.