Liverpool have released a large amount of players from their Kirkby Academy as they adopt a quality over quantity mindset, Liverpool's academy director Alex Inglethorpe has confirmed.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Inglethorpe has explained in depth why as much as 15% of the academy has been let go in the last 12 months. From under-9s to the under-21s, every squad has been affected with total numbers falling from 240 players to 200.
In Layman's terms, the revolution is designed to increase the amount of academy players making the grade at senior level by focusing resources in the most talented starlets.
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“The definition of Academy is that it should be a place of elite,” Inglethorpe said.
“It should be the case that when you look a player or their parents in the eye, you think there’s a genuine chance of them ending up playing for Liverpool.
“Often it does the parents and the players a disservice if you are taking boys just to fill up numbers. That doesn’t seem right to me. Often those boys will go to other clubs, be happy and stand a far better opportunity themselves by playing regularly.
“In an academy there is a huge pull on coaching, resources and the level of attention you can give each family. We have looked at the level of quality and tried to be as fair to everyone as we possibly can.”
Liverpool's best academy players
The young winger appears to have become Jurgen Klopp's favourite player. Still only 19, Ibe has been tipped to fill the sizeable shoes left by Raheem Sterling.
Like Sterling, Jordon Ibe was brought to the club at the age of 16 after Liverpool scouts spotted his potential whilst playing for Wycombe Wanderers. He has progressed well after loan spells with Birmingham and Derby and is now a first-team regular.
Rossiter is a born-and-bred Merseysider, originally joining Liverpool's famous academy as a six-year-old. Brendan Rodgers was a huge fan, originally inviting him to train with the first-team squad in the 2013/14 season when he was still just 16.
Despite a change of manager, Rossiter has remained amongst the first-team and can be expected to make the odd Premier League appearance when he recovers from a hamstring injury.
This 18-year-old attacking midfielder has been on the books at Anfield for the last 11 years, but, rather shockingly, may have felt more at home at Old Trafford.
Born in Salford into a Manchester United-supporting family, Brannagan found himself picked up by the Reds after a successful trial and is now considered one of their brightest and most versatile youngsters.