Liverpool boss challenges ‘outstanding’ U23s star to take game to next level

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Bobby Adekanye is a name most Reds will be familiar with following his move from Barcelona back in 2015.

The 19-year-old has struggled to build on the glowing reputation he arrived with, primarily due to injuries hindering his form and involvement.

A mass exodus of youth prospects this summer has now paved the way for the Dutchman to assert himself as a prominent figure in Neil Critchley’s setup.

Adekanye made a positive start to grasping this opportunity with a dominant display for Liverpool’s U23s in Friday night’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

His manager has now tasked the winger with adding the figures his talent dictates he is capable of producing.

“I thought he was the best attacker on the pitch by a long, long way,” Critchley told the Liverpool Echo.

“He deserved to go home with the match ball, actually. I thought he was outstanding.”

“For all his ability in beating people one-on-one and getting into good positions, he has to now add numbers and assists and goals to his game.”

Neil Critchley – Image by

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Adekanye got himself on the score-sheet at Anfield on the night, cutting inside on his left-foot before squeezing a low-effort into the bottom corner.

He also came close to sealing a win in the 88th minute after storming through on goal, only to see his effort well-blocked by Spurs goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman.

The teenager displayed encouraging signs at various stages last season, with former U19s boss Steven Gerrard having praised him for improving in the gritty side of the game.

Slowly but surely the forward is polishing his expertise on route to becoming one of the brightest players in the club’s youth system.

As Critchley alluded to, it’s the eye-catching figures that he must now inject – just as Harry Wilson did, just as Ben Woodburn did and just as Rhian Brewster was doing before his injury setback.

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