Michael Ngoo was let go in 2014

Where are they now? The 7 academy kids Liverpool released in 2014 a decade later

Liverpool have produced plenty of world class players over the years, but not every youngster is good enough to make the grade at Anfield.

For every Steven Gerrard or Trent Alexander-Arnold, there are plenty of other examples of youngsters who slip through the cracks.

We’ve gone back to the year 2014 and have checked out what the seven academy kids who Liverpool released that year are up to these days.

Yalany Baio

The midfielder spent three years in the Liverpool academy and made a name for himself with the U18s. Although after not establishing himself as a regular in the U21s, he was let go in the summer of 2014.

He’s rarely stuck around in one place for long as the 29-year-old is now onto his eighth club since leaving Liverpool. Having previously had spells in the Netherlands and Gibraltar, he now plays for Llandudno who play in the Welsh second-tier.

Villyan Bijev

Liverpool originally picked up Bijev from the University of Washington in 2011 where he was playing college soccer. He spent three years in the club’s academy before he was let go in 2014.

After short spells with Bulgarian sides Slavia Sofia and Cherno More, he returned to the United States in 2016. He predominately played in the second and third tier before announcing his retirement at the age of 30 earlier this year.

Yusuf Mersin

The Reds paid an initial fee of £450,000 for Yusef which potentially rose to £1million with add-ons. He arrived from Millwall in 2011 as a fresh-faced 16-year-old and seemingly had the world at his fingertips.

However, the goalkeeper lasted just three years at the club before he was let go. Since leaving Liverpool, Yusuf has predominately played non-league football and currently plays for Northern Irish side Harland & Wolff Welders.

“The papers were saying I cost £1million,” Mersin told KentOnline. “It’s nice to have that, although I didn’t see any of the money.

“It’s mad looking back, thinking about it now. It was unbelievable to be around so many great players. Simon Mignolet was the first choice and he was unbelievable in training.”

Michael Ngoo

Ngoo arrived at Anfield as a highly-rated 16-year-old from Southend and he quickly grew a reputation for himself within the Liverpool academy.

Upon his release in 2014, he signed for Kilmarnock but his career changed immeasurably after suffering a serious injury following a late challenge by Virgil van Dijk.

“Before I had my first operation, the specialist said to me that if my rehab did not go to plan then I would not play professional football again. He made that clear,” Ngoo told us in 2021.

“I went through a very bad time. I’d get in my car, turn the music up and go on long and meaningless motorway journeys – and then I’d drive back home again.”

After leaving Kilmarnock the forward has had spells in England, Albania and Cyrpus, but has been without a club since the summer of 2022.

Liverpool academy product Michael Ngoo playing for the club in a NextGen Series match against Molde, Anfield, Liverpool, 29 September 2011

READ: Ngoo: I had depression after Van Dijk tackle left me injured for two years

Craig Roddan

The midfielder joined the Liverpool academy in 2007 and following a couple of short loan spells with Carlisle United and Accrington Stanley, he was let go in 2014.

Roddan enjoyed the best stint of his career with Irish outfit Sligo Rovers where he made a total of 66 appearances between 2016 to 2018. Then following a short stint with Mossley AFC, he retired from football in 2019.

Stephen Sama

Sama spent five years in the Liverpool academy but never got his chance in the senior squad. After being let go in 2014, he’s struggled to establish himself at any of the clubs he has played for.

The 30-year-old most recently played for Accrington Stanley but has been without a club since his release in the summer of 2022.

Jakub Sokolik

The Czech Republic defender joined the Liverpool academy in 2009 but didn’t manage to make a first team appearance before he was let go in 2014.

In his post-Liverpool career, Sokolik has had stints with the likes of Yeovil Town, Plymouth Argyle and Torquay United. He took a five-year break from football in 2018, but now plays for Austrian side ASK Ternitz.

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