The 14 teenagers Klopp has signed for Liverpool – & how they’ve fared

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hugs Harvey Elliott. Carrow Road, 14th August 2021.

While Jurgen Klopp has signed the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, he’s also looked to protect Liverpool’s long-term future by signing plenty of teenage prospects. 

Fabio Carvalho looks set to become the latest young player to join Liverpool when his Fulham contract expires at the end of the season.

We’ve taken a look at the 14 teenagers that Liverpool have signed during Klopp’s reign. Note: we’ve only included players who made at least one first-team appearance for the Reds.

Marko Grujic

The first permanent signing of the Klopp era, Grujic was bought in a £5.1million move from Red Star Belgrade in January 2016.

But the midfielder failed to establish himself in the Liverpool side, making just five starts and a further 11 appearances off the bench.

He spent the vast majority of his time at the club out on loan, enjoying spells at Cardiff, Hertha Berlin and Porto before joining the latter on a permanent deal in the summer of 2021.

“I would say my career at Liverpool was successful,” he told The Athletic. “OK, not in terms of games played or what I achieved for the club, but I certainly left Liverpool as a much better player than when I first arrived.

“The coaching staff helped my development and so did the loan spells I had in terms of gaining more experience.”

Liam Miller

After leaving Fulham’s academy at the end of the 2015-16 season, Miller joined Liverpool on a free transfer and scored a hat-trick on his Under-18s debut. 

He made his one and only Liverpool appearance in February 2020, starting in an FA Cup fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury Town.

The Canada international then had a loan spell at Charlton Athletic before joining Swiss Super League club Basel on a permanent deal in 2021.

Rafael Camacho

Camacho spent two years in Manchester City’s academy but was snapped up by Liverpool after failing to win a professional contract at the Etihad Stadium.

The winger made his debut in an FA Cup defeat to Wolves in 2019, but his Premier League career amounted to 60 seconds in a cameo appearance against Crystal Palace.

He decided to leave Liverpool in 2019 and joined Sporting Lisbon, the club with which he began his career before moving to England as a teenager. 

Nat Phillips

After being released by cash-strapped Bolton Wanderers in 2016, Phillips looked set to move to the United States but then completed a surprise move to Liverpool.

Prior to the 2020-21 season, he had just one Liverpool appearance to his name. But injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip meant the defender finally got a run of games for Klopp’s side.

He helped the Reds secure Champions League qualification and became a cult hero at Anfield.

“People often ask me which player made the biggest improvements under my leadership, and I say Robert Lewandowski,” Klopp said in December 2021.

“That’s probably right, but not far off that is Nat Phillips, just in a completely different department. I remember when I saw Nat Phillips first. I spoke to him after the game and he’s one of the smartest players I ever worked with.”

The 25-year-old fell back down the pecking order in 2021-22 and is currently spending the second half of the season on loan at Championship side Bournemouth.

Nathaniel Phillips, Liverpool v AC Milan, Anfield, September 2021

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Dominic Solanke

Once regarded as one of football’s best young prospects, Solanke won the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup with England and received the Golden Ball award as the best player in the tournament.

The striker then decided there was no clear path into the Chelsea first team and joined Liverpool on a free transfer following the expiry of his contract.

But he made just six starts and 21 substitute appearances under Klopp, scoring once in a 4-0 win over Brighton before completing a £19million move to Bournemouth in January 2019. 

Jack Bearne

Signed from Notts County in 2017, Bearne helped Liverpool win the 2019 FA Youth Cup final by coolly converting his penalty in the shootout against Manchester City.

He made his senior debut in the EFL Cup quarter-final defeat against Aston Villa in December 2019, coming off the bench for the final 25 minutes.

The 20-year-old is yet to make another first-team appearance but is now one of the first names on the team sheet for their Under-23s.

Yasser Larouci

A product of the famous Le Havre academy, Larouci joined Liverpool in 2017 and was also part of that FA Youth Cup-winning squad.

Both of his first-team appearances for the Reds came in the FA Cup as he replaced an injured James Milner against Everton before starting in a 2-2 draw against Shrewsbury Town.

After being released by Liverpool at the end of the 2020-21 season, the left-back returned to France and joined Ligue 1 side Troyes.

Tony Gallacher

Gallacher made 26 first-team appearances for boyhood club Falkirk and his performances ensured he was regarded as one of Scotland’s hottest prospects.

Manchester United, Stoke and Rangers were reportedly scouting the defender but Liverpool won the race for his signature in January 2018.

He only ever made one League Cup appearance for the Reds as fellow Scot Andy Robertson has nailed down the left-back spot at Anfield.

After a loan spell at MLS side Toronto in 2020, the 22-year-old decided to return to Scotland in January 2022 and joined St Johnstone on a permanent deal.

Ki-Jana Hoever

After leaving Ajax’s academy in 2018, Hoever made his Liverpool debut at the age of 16 in an FA Cup third-round defeat to Wolves in January 2019.

The right-back made three more appearances for the Reds and even became the youngest non-British player to score for them in a competitive match when he found the back of the net against MK Dons.

But he found himself behind Trent Alexander-Arnold and Neco Williams in the pecking order and completed a £13.5million move to Wolves in 2020.

“It wasn’t an easy choice, but it wasn’t that hard either,” Hoever told Goal in 2022 when asked about his decision to leave Liverpool.

“I knew my playing time would be more than at Liverpool, that’s why I made the decision. I thought it was the best thing for my career in the moment.”

Billy Koumetio

Koumetio arrived at Anfield from French side US Orleans in November 2018 and later impressed Klopp with his performances in pre-season ahead of 2020-21.

He made his first-team debut in the Champions League against FC Midtjylland in December 2020, becoming the youngest player to represent Liverpool in the competition.

The 19-year-old defender has since made his first start for the club in an EFL Cup tie against Leicester City and looks set for a bright future at Anfield.

Harvey Elliott

The biggest name on this list, Elliott became the youngest ever player to appear in the Premier League during his time at Fulham before joining Liverpool.

After making eight appearances for the Reds in 2019-20, he spent the following campaign on loan at Blackburn Rovers and earned rave reviews for his performances.

His incredible rise was stunted by a serious ankle injury in September 2021, but the 19-year-old made a goalscoring return in Liverpool’s 3-1 FA Cup win over Cardiff City.

“No, no,” Eliott said on the UMM YouTube channel when asked if Klopp’s bear hugs are painful. “The warmth that he brings – it’s a joke. He is [a father figure]. You see it a lot, how he is with players, his players and how he interacts with the fans.

“He’s the best possible man for the job, I can say, and the best possible person to be learning off.”

Sepp van den Berg

Despite being just 17 when he swapped PEC Zwolle for Liverpool in 2019, Van den Berg already had 22 Eredivisie appearances to his name.

The centre-back made four appearances in domestic cup competitions during 2019-20 but is yet to make his Premier League debut.

He decided to go to Preston North End in February 2021 in search of regular first-team football and is still on loan at the Championship side.

Kaide Gordon

After Gordon made his Derby debut at the age of 16 in December 2020, Liverpool fought off competition from Manchester United to secure his signature.

He started an EFL Cup win over Norwich City in 2021 and then became Liverpool’s second-youngest goalscorer after finding the back of the net in the FA Cup win over Shrewsbury in January 2022.

The 17-year-old also played in a Premier League win over Brentford, and we doubt it’ll be his last appearance in the competition.

Melkamu Frauendorf

Frauendorf joined Liverpool from Hoffenheim in August 2020 and scored seven goals in his debut season with the Under-18s, including strikes in the FA Youth Cup semi-final and final.

The Germany Under-18 international then made his senior debut in the closing stages of Liverpool’s FA Cup third-round win against Shrewsbury in January 2022.

He’s currently continuing his development with the youth teams but will be hoping for more first-team opportunities in the near future.

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