Abdi Sharif has signed his first professional contract with Liverpool – the youngster has been training with the football club since the age of six, and officially joined the club just before his tenth birthday.
Born in Somalia but raised in the suburb of Toxteth, Sharif was an important part of Barry Lewtas’ U18 side last season.
The 18-year-old midfielder made his full U23s debut in January, going on to score his first goal at the level against Chelsea in April.
While his days were spent at the nearby St Margaret’s and Lawrence Community primary schools, his evenings and weekends were dominated by playing football with and against his nine older brothers.
“I had a lot of fun playing with my brothers when I was younger. I was competitive, I didn’t like losing or getting beat,” the youngster told the club’s official website last season.
“I’ve always looked up to [Steven Gerrard]. Every time he played I’d watch him and watch the things he did. His leadership, his character and the commitment that he showed to the club… [he had] everything that you need as a player, especially for this club.
“I was a centre-forward at first! I’ve played a lot of positions since I’ve been here, but I think with the abilities I have and what I’ve been blessed with – running and things like that – I feel more comfortable playing in midfield.
“Midfield’s the position I want to play in but if the team need a position to be played then I’m always up for that. I’m always available.”