How Liverpool’s seven wonderkids on FM2020 are developing IRL this season
As well as dominating the Premier League, the development of some of Liverpool‘s young players has been one of the most promising aspects of the 2019-20 season at Anfield.
According to Football Manager 2020’s list of 650 Wonderkids, as compiled by FMScout.com, seven are currently on the Reds’ books. That’s defined as “players with high potential ability who are not older than 20 years old on July 1, 2019”.
And we’ve taken a look at how they’ve developed in real life this season.
Already arguably the best right-back in the world, the scary thing is Alexander-Arnold should only get better.
Only Kevin de Bruyne could better the England international’s 13 assists in the Premier League in 2019-20. .
One youngster who has had to remain more patient than others on this list, Hoever joined Liverpool from Ajax in 2018 amid considerable interest from a host of top clubs.
The defender subsequently scored his maiden senior goal on his first appearance of 2019-20 against MK Dons but has played just twice more since.
Jurgen Klopp is torn between whether the 18-year-old is more suited to right-back or centre-half, but the player himself recently said he prefers full-back, placing him in direct competition with the names directly above and below him in this list.
Possibly Liverpool’s find of the season, fans were concerned about the lack of cover at full-back ahead of the start of the campaign, only for Williams to emerge as a stand-out performer in the cup competitions.
The right-back marked his debut against Arsenal with a last-minute assist for Divock Origi’s dramatic equaliser, impressed against Everton and played a part in the winner against Shrewsbury Town.
He also made six league appearances after the restart and became just the fifth Welshman to earn a Premier League winners’ medal.
🚨 BREAKING: Neco Williams will become the latest youngster to be rewarded for his progress by Liverpool with a new and improved five-year contract following a breakout season at Anfield. #lfclive [@neiljonesgoal] pic.twitter.com/bF9ye0fvQj
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) August 9, 2020
Having made his senior debut for Liverpool last season, Jones has come on leaps and bounds in 2019-20.
The midfielder won man of the match on his first appearance of the campaign against MK Dons, scored the winning penalty in the League Cup victory over Arsenal and bagged a stunning winner against Everton.
He then became the Reds’ youngest ever captain when he led the side to a 1–0 victory over Shrewsbury in an FA Cup replay and also scored his first Premier League goal against Aston Villa.
He’s still just 19 FFS.
Curtis Jones has won the #FACup goal of the season for this beauty 🥰
— Goal (@goal) August 9, 2020
After becoming the youngest player in Premier League history with Fulham last season, Elliott has had to contend with considerable hype since joining Liverpool in the summer.
So far the attacker has lived up to the billing by showing regular glimpses of his undoubted talent across eight first-team appearances.
While he is yet to open his account for the senior side, Elliott has three goals and nine assists across the Premier League 2 and UEFA Youth League.
Injuries prevented Brewster from making his long-awaited senior debut prior to 2019-20, but the striker finally made his bow in the League Cup clash with MK Dons.
Two more first-team appearances followed, but with Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino ahead of Brewster in the pecking order, the 20-year-old joined Swansea City on loan in January.
He scored 11 goals in 22 appearances as Steve Cooper’s side reached the play-off semi-finals and could now be set for a more important role at Anfield.
Woodburn burst onto the scene at Liverpool, becoming the club’s youngest ever goalscorer by notching against Leeds United four years ago.
Still just 20, the attacking midfielder endured a disappointing loan spell at Sheffield United in 2018-19 and has since struggled with recurring injury issues.
Having been loaned out to League One outfit Oxford United ahead of the 2019-20 season, he initially impressed only to break a bone in his foot in October.
He returned to Merseyside for treatment, only to suffer the exact same injury to his other foot in his final session before re-uniting with Oxford, which is suspected to be because of how he bears weight on his feet.