Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was asked about youngsters used in the senior squad in his pre-match press conference as the Reds get ready to take on Ajax in the Champions League.
The boss was queried over whether fans not being in stadia to urge on the starlets is having a negative impact, alongside the masses of criticism they get off the pitch.
“If someone is a youth or academy player at Liverpool, he has for sure a lot of talent,” Klopp said – before explained how it’s difficult for these teenagers to simply step up for the Reds in particular.
When the likes of Neco Williams or Curtis Jones are picked, and it’s not for the sake of rotation, they’re stepping into the huge boots of Premier League and Champions League winners.
"If someone is a youth or academy player at Liverpool, he has for sure a lot of talent." – Jurgen Klopp on the young lads drafted into the first-team amid the injury crisis 👊 #LFC pic.twitter.com/rABeZyfstt
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) November 30, 2020
As the boss explained, these teenagers are coming into the squad and replacing what are, “in our case, world-class players” and that often goes amiss for some critics.
Neco, for example, seems to get peltered every time he makes a mistake when filling in for Trent Alexander-Arnold, but the fact he’s a teenager with eight senior appearances to his name suggests we should expect this.
Players like Trent, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are freaks of nature – they’re already world-class at a young age – they’re not the standard for every up-and-coming starlet.