A brilliant Xl of Liverpool players aged 24 or under: Elliott, Nunez…
While Liverpool’s squad has lots of experienced players like Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, they also have some brilliant youngsters on their books.
Jurgen Klopp has planned for the future by promoting academy graduates and also signing talented young players from other clubs.
We’ve compiled an Xl of their best under-23 players, arranged in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
GK: Caoimhin Kelleher
Alisson, who turned 30 this year, is firmly established as Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper and is contracted to the club until 2027. But Kelleher has proved to be a more than able deputy to Alisson when called upon.
The Republic of Ireland international started against Chelsea in the 2022 Carabao Cup final and became a Liverpool hero, making a number of impressive saves before converting a penalty in the shootout success.
“Alisson Becker is the best goalie in the world for me,” Klopp told reporters at Wembley. “There are other good goalkeepers out there but this goalie is absolutely insane. But to be honest for me Caoimhin Kelleher is the best number two goalie in the world as well.
“The game he played tonight was absolutely incredible. I can remember at least two incredible saves, and probably there were more. So he proved that the decision to line him up was absolutely right.”
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Despite the fact that it feels like he’s been around forever, Alexander-Arnold is still only 24 years old.
The defender has already achieved more than most, winning the Premier League, Champions League, Carabao Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
He’s also broken Cristiano Ronaldo’s record, becoming the youngest player to win all six major trophies available to an English club.
The Liverpool academy graduate is already regarded as one of the best right-backs in the world and it’s scary to think that he is still miles from hitting his peak.
Happy 23rd Birthday to Trent Alexander-Arnold! 🎊
On his way to becoming one of the greatest right-backs in the Premier League era. 💎
Throwback to his iconic performance against Leicester City, who were 2nd at the time! 🤯
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) October 7, 2021
CB: Ibrahima Konate
After Van Dijk and Joel Matip both turned 30 in 2021, Liverpool decided to target a younger centre-back and signed Konate from RB Leipzig.
The 23-year-old had to bide his time at the start of 2021-22 but quickly found his footing and played a key role in his team’s journey to the Champions League final.
He is far from the finished article but playing alongside Van Dijk, who is regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world, can only help his development.
CB: Billy Koumetio
Koumetio joined Liverpool’s academy in November 2018 and was a ballboy for the historic 4-0 win over Barcelona in the 2019 Champions League semi-final second leg.
He then 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.
After primarily playing for Liverpool’s Under-23s in 2021-22, the defender has now joined FK Austria Wien on a season-long loan and is hoping to catch Klopp’s eye during his time in Austria.
LB: Calvin Ramsay
Admittedly, left-back was a bit of a struggle.
Andy Robertson recently turned 28 and backup left-back Kostas Tsimikas is only two years younger than the Scotland international.
Ramsay, who recently joined Liverpool from Aberdeen in a £4.2million deal, is actually a right-back but will have to fill in on the opposite flank for this Xl.
The 19-year-old won the Scottish Young Player of the Year award in 2021-22 and will undoubtedly learn a lot from fellow full-backs Alexander-Arnold and Robertson.
CM: Tyler Morton
While Fabinho is still in his peak years, Liverpool could already have his long-term successor at the club. Morton came through the academy and made his first-team debut in September 2021 after starring for the Under-18 and Under-23 sides.
The 20-year-old has since acquitted himself well in Champions League group stage wins over Porto and AC Milan, showcasing his impressive passing range and composure.
“It was a big pleasure to watch the boy playing,” Klopp said after the 2-1 win at the San Siro. “The football knowledge, the football brain he showed tonight was absolutely exceptional.
“If you are technically on that level – and he obviously is – and you then have such good orientation, then sometimes we have enough time to do good stuff. That is what he did tonight. On top of that, he defended incredibly well, together with the other boys.”
He’s now out on loan at Blackburn Rovers, following in the footsteps of Elliott and getting regular first-team experience for the first time.
CM: Curtis Jones
Jones burst onto the scene at Liverpool when he scored a stunning curling effort during an FA Cup victory over Everton in January 2020.
While the midfielder hasn’t kicked on as some might have hoped in recent seasons, he’s still shown glimpses of his undoubted talent and it’s easy to forget that he’s still only 21 years old.
Liverpool have reportedly decided they won’t be recruiting a new midfielder this summer and that presents a huge opportunity for Jones.
“I had a long talk last week with Curtis,” Klopp said earlier this year. “I love the boy and love the potential he has, but he has to now really make the next steps and fulfil the potential he has on the pitch very often.
“You have these types of conversations when you are not 100% happy with the moment. He is young, very young. But how I see it, his potential is incredible. We both together have to find a way to show that much more often.”
Look away, Everton fans! 🔴
Throwback to this Curtis Jones stunner against Everton to knock them out of the FA Cup 🤩pic.twitter.com/egvKU3vKpS
— GOAL (@goal) January 5, 2021
RW: Harvey Elliott
Signed from Fulham after becoming the youngest debutant in Premier League history, Elliott is one of English football’s most exciting young prospects.
The midfielder showcased his skills during a brilliant loan spell at Balckburn Rovers in 2020-21, registering seven goals and 12 assists in 43 appearances.
He looked set to enjoy a breakthrough campaign at Anfield in 2021-22, only to suffer a dislocated ankle during a win over Leeds United.
Since returning to full fitness, the 19-year-old has been gradually eased back into the team, and is making up for lost time in 2022-23.
CAM: Fabio Carvalho
Another Fulham academy graduate, Carvalho registered 18 direct goal contributions as Marco Silva’s side won the Championship in 2021-22.
The Portugal Under-21 international was linked with both Real Madrid and Barcelona before ultimately joining Liverpool in a £5million deal.
He’s renowned for his impressive technical skills and has often been compared to former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho. He’s gradually getting eased into Klopp’s side this season and looks set to make even more of an impact in the coming months and years.
LW: Kaide Gordon
The youngest player in this XI, Gordon made his senior debut for Derby County at the age of 16 in December 2020 and then joined Liverpool a few weeks later.
He made four first-team appearances in 2021-22 and even scored a well-taken effort in an FA Cup victory over Shrewsbury Town, becoming Liverpool’s second-youngest goalscorer.
The 18-year-old looks set for a very bright future at Anfield.
A well-taken strike from Kaide Gordon 🤩
The moment he became our second-youngest ever scorer ⚽️👏 pic.twitter.com/XFZwkLdbo1
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 10, 2022
ST: Darwin Nunez
While Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sado Mane was a brilliant front three for Liverpool, Klopp decided to freshen things up.
After signing Diogo Jota from Wolves and Luis Diaz from Porto, Liverpool bought Nunez from Benfica in a deal that could be worth £85million.
The Uruguay international, who turned 23 in the summer, is regarded as one of the best young strikers in the world. His start to life at Anfield hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing, but nine goals in 18 appearances is a perfectly respectable record.