Six promising stats on Liverpool’s kids that show the future is bright
Jurgen Klopp is not someone who has ever shied away from giving Liverpool‘s homegrown youngsters a chance in the first team.
But Klopp has had his hand forced more than usual this season. A number of first-team injuries have already left him without the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago, Allison, Joe Gomez and Naby Keita for varying lengths of time.
Out of those negatives has shone a positive, however. Like any professional club, Liverpool are incredibly proud of their youth system, and the injuries to big-name stars have given us a glimpse of the next generation that we perhaps would not have seen otherwise.
On Tuesday night, Curtis Jones and Neco Williams both impressed outfield for the Reds, with the former scoring the winner from the latter’s cross, while Caoimhin Kelleher deputised for Allison in goal ahead of Adrian as they beat Ajax 1-0 at Anfield to confirm their place in the Champions League knock-out stages.
We compiled promising six stats that show why the Anfield faithful are right to be so excited about the future, plus a bonus one from the always brilliant Richard Jolly.
– Jones’ goal marked the first time that two teenagers had combined for a goal in the Champions League for a Premier League side, with Williams providing the assist.
– Kelleher is the first Republic of Ireland player to appear for the Reds in the Champions League since Robbie Keane back in 2008, and just the fourth in total (following Keane, Steve Finnan and Darren Potter).
– Jones is also just the third teenager to score for Liverpool in Europe’s elite competition, following in the footsteps of Alexander-Arnold (vs Maribor in 2017) and David N’Gog (vs PSV in 2008).
Caoimhin Kelleher is the first player to keep a clean sheet on his first Champions League appearance in goal for a Premier League club when deputising for an injured Brazilian since Kyle Walker.
— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) December 1, 2020
– Perhaps more important than any other stat, Jones is the first Reds player to net in the Champions League to also have all the letters of ‘S-C-O-U-S-E-R’ in his name.
– Kelleher is only the second Liverpool goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet on his debut in the competition. Chris Kirkland was the last, frustrating Galatasaray back in 2002.
– Jones has now notched six first-team goals for Liverpool in all competitions, with half of them proving to be match-winners. A big-game player in the making.