The recently unveiled news that Liverpool head of academy coaching Rodolfo Borrell and academy director Frank McParland have both been sacked has left supporters aghast.
The unanticipated announcement astonished fans given the management duo's rise to eminence at the Kirkby Academy since their retrospective arrivals.
Speculation of the reasoning behind the club's decision is dominating social media and despite the club refusing to comment, the root of the startling news has been reported as Brendan Rodgers' ambition to assign his own coaching staff to the aforementioned roles.
Other rumours meanwhile propose that Manchester City have been attempting to lure the two away from Liverpool. Nevertheless it is likely they will both remain at the club for the foreseen future amidst complications over the terms of their departures.
Albeit it is improbable that the duo will have been dismissed unless the club have potential successors lined up. Some have suggested that Neil Critchley is set to be proclaimed for the role. Though the U18s boss only arrived at the Reds in October, he has seen his side go on an unbeaten six-match streak.
The 34-year-old was also previously academy director at the famous Crewe Alexandra academy since 2007, making him an ideal candidate for the avowed available position. Other suggestions for the position have been Kenny Dalglish, who recently returned to the club as a non-executive director.
The prominent and highly reputable pairing of Borrell and McParland both arrived under Rafael Benitez's tenure. Borrell who switched from Barcelona with compatriot Pep Segura assisted in completely reconstituting the system.
His strong reputation developed having spent 13 successful years at the illustrious La Masia Academy where he contributed in the growth of acclaimed superstars Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique. All of whom are regulars in the current crop of Blaugrana's first team.
McParland was similarly brought in under Rafa's regime and was reportedly crucial in acquiring teen starlet Raheem Sterling from QPR in 2010. Since, Sterling has gone on to make his first-team debut and sign an extended professional contrast in December of last year.
The diminutive winger is just one on a multitudinous list of players who derived from the academy and have gone on to earn an inaugural senior appearance under Borrell and McParland. Others include defenders Jack Robinson and Jon Flanagan and more latterly Suso, Andre Wisdom and Jordon Ibe.
In a comprehensive reconstruction of the academy's hierachy in 2011, McParland became director of academy and player development, with the additional responsibility of overseeing all reserve team matters.
In addition highly-sought after coach Borrell was promoted to reserve team coach and coached the under-19 side that took part in the inaugural 2011-12 Next Gen Series which concluded in the Reds' defeat to Ajax in the semi-finals. In November 2012, Spaniard Borrell was promoted to the position of head of academy coaching and was replaced as manager of the reserve sides by Alex Inglethorpe.
Antecedent to the Spaniard's arrival, the last recognisable figure to emerge from the academy set-up was Steven Gerrard who ascended into the senior side in 1998. The two have undoubtedly coerced in the radical revolutionisation of the youth set-up which has culminated in the Kirkby academy becoming one of the best in England and even world football with their category one status.
In spite of the fact just 32 percent of players used by Premier League clubs last season were English, Borrell and McParland have left Liverpool's youth squads brimming with highly-rated home-grown talents such as Jack Dunn, Daniel Trickett-Smith and Jordan Rossiter.
In defiance of the progressively difficult opportunities for English players to rise through the ranks of their club, several are predicted to make the step-up to the first-team in the coming years.
The shocking news comes just days after 19 year-old academy graduate Adam Morgan has been told that he can leave the club on a free transfer. Morgan was part of the Reds’ pre-season squad that toured USA last summer and made a handful of appearances in the Europa League campaign of the Rodgers' introductory season.
He made headlines earlier this season with a sumptuous 45-yard strike for the under 21s against Manchester City but the club are willing to sacrifice Morgan for the progress of forwards such as Samed Yesil and Jerome Sinclair.
In contrast, promising teenagers Marc Pelosi and Cameron Brannagan have secured new contracts at Anfield. Highly-regarded Pelosi, who is still currently recovering from a broken leg, caught the eye of Liverpool's scouts with a string of impressive displays at the U17 World Cup for USA back in 2011. Brannagan has also climbed to the upper echelons of youth football as he has become a pivotal member of the U21s side.
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