James Pearce singled out three Liverpool youngsters for praise following the Reds’ pre-season tour of Singapore.
Jurgen Klopp gave ample opportunities to a number of academy players in the games against Leicester and Bayern Munich, having also done in the two friendlies in Germany prior to flying out to the Far East, and a few made the most of the chance provided to them.
In a piece for The Athletic reflecting on the Singapore trip, the journalist dubbed Ben Doak and Bobby Clark ‘the biggest winners’ of the academy prospects who featured, with both players scoring against the Foxes last Sunday before they ‘caught the eye’ against Thomas Tuchel’s side three days later.
Pearce added that James McConnell ‘also deserves credit’ for how he took to an unfamiliar deeper midfield role, noting one instance where he halted Kingsley Coman with an immaculate sliding tackle just after Luis Diaz had lost possession.
All three players named by Pearce can feel delighted with their contributions in Singapore over the past week.
Aside from his goal against Leicester, Clark misplaced just two of his 24 passes, recording a 92% accuracy (Sofascore), while he was a little unlucky not to score against Bayern when his shot was initially fumbled by Sven Ulreich before the goalkeeper gathered at the second attempt.
McConnell’s performance in the 4-0 win over the Foxes – in which he boasted a 100% passing success rate – led to him being described by Klopp as ‘a joy to watch‘, and he also won both of his duels during his cameo off the bench against the Bundesliga champions (Sofascore).
Doak was perhaps the standout youngster from the tour, and not just for his goal on Sunday. He tormented the Bayern defence with his pace and trickery during his substitute appearance on Wednesday and was also singled out for praise by Neil Jones recently.
The trio could be given another chance to impress in next Monday’s clash against Darmstadt, Liverpool’s final pre-season fixture before their Premier League campaign commences the following weekend.
They’re unlikely to feature prominently once the competitive action begins, but Clark, McConnell and Doak have certainly put their best foot forward to try and claim a few appearances for the first team throughout 2023/24.