Neil Jones has voiced his delight for one former Liverpool prospect who enjoyed a landmark moment in his career last weekend.
Having come through the academy ranks at Merseyside, Layton Stewart joined Preston during the summer, with the 21-year-old now part of Ryan Lowe’s high-flying squad at Deepdale.
His late appearance off the bench in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Rotherham marked his league debut in senior football, with his one first-team appearance for the Reds coming in the Carabao Cup tie against Derby last year (Transfermarkt).
In his latest Covering Liverpool Substack column, Jones provided updates on the various loanees from LFC, saying: “It was brilliant to see former Reds striker Layton Stewart make his Football League debut for Preston North End at Rotherham United on Saturday.
“They’re flying under Scouser Ryan Lowe, and if they can get Layton up to speed, it won’t be long before he’s doing what he does best, and finding the back of the net.”
If it weren’t for a horrendous cruciate ligament injury in 2021, Stewart may well have enjoyed a few more senior appearances at Liverpool, even if a genuine first-team breakthrough would’ve been hard to come by when considering the abundance of riches in Jurgen Klopp’s forward line.
The likes of Kaide Gordon, Stefan Bajcetic and Ben Doak have been utilised by the Reds manager in competitive fixtures, so he’s not shy about promoting young talents who he feels are good enough for senior level.
Having turned 21 at the start of this month, the Preston striker would surely have felt that he’s coming to a point in his career when he needs to be playing regular first-team football, hence the decision to join the Lilywhites.
He’s gone there at a perfect time, with Lowe’s side third in the Championship and looking well-placed to mount a serious challenge for promotion to the Premier League, already seven points ahead of Sunderland in fifth.
Stewart has already had to overcome one major spell of adversity in his career, and we’d love to see him ripping it up at Deepdale in what could be an unforgettable season for the Lancashire club.