Jon Flanagan.

Liverpool making risky change to youth team policy that should be applauded

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Listen to any Liverpool fan just now and they will tell you that Jurgen Klopp is building something special on Merseyside. 

Just over one year into the job, the German manager has transformed his team into genuine title challengers who play some of the most exciting football in the Premier League.

However, Klopp isn't only concerned with the immediate future of his first-team squad. Indeed, according to reports today, he is overseeing a plan within the youth ranks at Anfield that Liverpool will hope to benefit from for years to come. And the initiative deserves everyone's applause.

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Hardly a day goes by these days without someone - usually a former player or perplexed fan - complaining about youngsters on the books at big clubs being paid extortionate wages despite being miles from the first-team.

Only this week we heard a story about Sir Alex Ferguson's furious reaction to seeing former Manchester United starlet Mads Timm driving around in a Porsche.

Well, according to the Daily Telegraph, those times are over at Liverpool.

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Per the newspaper, Liverpool are set to impose a wage cap on all youth team players moving forward that will limit their earnings to £40,000-per-year.

For anyone outside of football, that might still seem extremely high for a teenager just starting out in their profession. However, when you consider some Premier League clubs are reportedly offering 16-year-olds upwards of £11,000-per-week, it is an important move.

Risk vs reward

There is, of course, the risk that limiting their offers for talented youngsters will prevent Liverpool from competing with the other big clubs that surround them - namely the two Manchester sides.


However, Klopp and co. are of the opinion that introducing their new wage structure will actually help Liverpool nurture talent all the way through into the first-team, rather than see talented teenagers fizzle out after being caught up in the bright lights after earning a quick buck.

Speaking recently, the former Borussia Dortmund boss outlined his loyalty to locally produced talent.

"I've always been at clubs for the long-term so when I see a 16-year-old player who is good, I can always wait for him,” said Klopp, via the Telegraph.

“I can promise that before we sign a player who isn't a lot better than what we already have, we will always use our own boys.

That's how the future should be, even in the crazy football transfer world. We want to be this special club."

Swansea City v Liverpool - Premier League


With the Merseyside club still including bonuses for under 23 appearances and games whilst out on loan, there is now an incentive for youth products to work their way up through the ranks to improve their earnings.

Tottenham and Southampton also employ a similar wage structure and, with Liverpool having become the latest big team to do so, let's hope more Premier League clubs follow suit.

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