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Liverpool need to look towards youth prospects for the rest of the season

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In the aftermath of another dispiriting Liverpool display in their 2-0 loss to Leicester, decisions need to be made over what direction the Reds go in for the rest of the season.

They are in officially in the horrible position of no man’s land currently sitting 11 points from the top four and a similar distance from Norwich in 17th position.

The truth needs to be realised: Liverpool are not getting in the top four this season.

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With that in mind its time to look to the future and play the kids.

Jurgen Klopp has been willing to play a number of club’s youth in the FA Cup this season and a number of them have impressed.

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However, Klopp reverts back to the senior squad when it comes to Premier League action.

While there is still the possibility of qualifying for the Europa League next season, that prospect does not seem to fill anyone with much excitement.

In fact, it seems to be more of a hindrance than a help, with many teams fielding weakened teams in the competition.

The likes of Cameron Brannagan, Brad Smith, Sheyi Ojo, Joao Teixeira deserve an opportunity in the rough and tumble of the Premier League.

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It doesn’t have to be all at once but a couple should be given a sustained run in the starting eleven.

They are undoubtedly bound to make mistakes, but it is the only way they will learn and it will make them better players in the long run.

In truth, they can’t really do much worse than their senior colleagues who, for the most part, have been dreadful for a season and a half.

For quite a while, Liverpool has had a less than satisfactory record with developing youth.

When Rafa Benitez was in charge, the youngsters were virtually ignored, due to the strength of the first team squad.

There was also the suggestion that they were not quite up to the standard required.

Brendan Rodgers looked to be moving in a different path, bringing the likes of Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom, Jon Flanagan and Jordan Ibe into the fold.

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A number of other younger players like Philippe Coutinho were also bought by the club.

Sterling, Flanagan and Coutinho became first team regulars and instant fan favourites.

However, a confusing transfer window at the end of the 2013/14 season saw the club sign more mature players like Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert.

Rodgers had gone away from what had brought the club success, and the youth policy was all but a distant memory.

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A prime example of this was defender Tiago Ilori. He was signed as a 20-year-old for big money from Sporting Lisbon and came with an impressive reputation, however, he was swiftly discarded on loan firstly to Granada, then Bordeaux and finally to Aston Villa - where he didn’t play a game.

There are countless others at the club in the same boat as Ilori.

Despite not buying anyone of note in the January transfer window, Klopp has brought a number of the young loanees in from the cold.

Now with the team in the position they are, it's time to give the youth a chance.

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Topics:
Premier League
Raheem Sterling
Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool
Football
Brendan Rodgers

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