Fabio Carvalho next: How the last 14 teenagers signed by Liverpool fared

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Liverpool v FC Sion - Anfield Liverpool's Divock Origi during the UEFA Europa League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Thursday October 1, 2015

Liverpool have completed the signing of Fulham wonderkid Fabio Carvalho. He’s not the first highly-rated teenager to arrive at Anfield in recent seasons.

Carvalho will officially become part of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds squad on July 1st, having signed for a £5million fee on a five-year contract. The 19-year-old shone as Fulham topped the Championship last term and big things are expected after making the step up.

But how have the other teenagers Liverpool have signed fared in recent seasons? We’ve taken a look back at the last 13.

Marcelo Pitaluga – £700k

The most recent teenager to join Liverpool, the 17-year-old Brazilian goalkeeper arrived on Merseyside in September 2020 having been assessed by both Reds No.1 Alisson Becker as well as Alisson’s older brother Muriel, who played alongside Pitaluga at Fluminense.

He’s yet to make his senior debut by has impressed in the youth ranks.

“Marcelo was excellent,” Under-23s coach Barry Lewtas told Liverpoolfc.com.

“When we reflect on the course of the season and how well we have done since Christmas, he has been a big part of that.

“His kicking has improved, as has his ability to come for crosses under pressure. In our last two games, for example, he made a big save against United and another one tonight at 0-0 [against Burnley Under-23s], so he has been a big part of what we have done.”

Melkamu Frauendorf – Undisclosed

Having arrived from Hoffenheim for a nominal compensation fee in August 2020, Frauendorf 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 Reds debut in the closing stages of Liverpool’s FA Cup third-round win against Shrewsbury earlier this season.

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

READ: How Liverpool’s 10 FM22 wonderkids have developed IRL in 2021-22

Sepp van den Berg – £1.3m

Liverpool signed Van den Berg from Dutch outfit Zwolle in the summer of 2019 for a fee that could rise to £4.4million, with the defender having already made 15 Eredivisie appearances at the age of 17.

Standing at 6ft 2in, Van den Berg made his debut during a League Cup victory over MK Dons. He subsequently appeared in the madcap 5-5 draw with Arsenal back in September 2020 and an FA Cup replay victory over Shrewsbury.

Van der Berg has since spent the last 18 months on loan at Preston, making 60 Championship appearances for the Lilywhites. He’ll be back at Anfield this summer.

“The intention is that I participate in the pre-season and then conquer my place in the dressing room,” said Van den Berg recently. “At the same time, I know that the competition is fierce. This summer I will fight for a place.”

Harvey Elliott – Tribunal

Another teenager to already have senior top-flight experience by the time he joined Liverpool, Elliott made his Fulham debut in the League Cup aged 15 and became the youngest ever Premier League player at the age of 16.

He now holds the record as the youngest player to ever start a competitive game for the Reds and since shone on loan at Blackburn Rovers in the 2020-21 campaign.

At 18, he looked ready to play a major role in Liverpool’s 2021-22 campaign, but serious injury suffered in September curtailed his involvement. Elliott returned after six months but has been on the periphery of Liverpool’s quadruple chase run-in.

Tony Gallacher – £250k 

Gallacher’s performances for Falkirk ensured he was touted as one of the hottest Scottish prospects of 2017. Soon after, reports emerged that clubs such as Manchester United, Stoke and Rangers were scouting the young left-back.

However, Liverpool won the race for his signature in January 2018. Now 21, Gallacher has made one first-team appearance, the 5-0 League Cup defeat to Aston Villa in 2019. He was since loaned out to Toronto FC and joined St Johnstone in January.

Perhaps being another Scottish left-back at Liverpool is currently both a blessing and a curse.

Dominic Solanke – Tribunal

As part of the England team that won the Under-20 World Cup in 2017, Solanke’s move from Chelsea to Liverpool seemed like a coup for the Merseyside club.

But Solanke struggled to make an impression at Anfield. The striker scored just one goal in 28 appearances during the 2017-18 season, although in fairness his finish against Brighton was extremely emphatic.

Having induced their officials into some sort of trance, Liverpool sold Solanke to Bournemouth for a reported £19million fee in 2019. The striker took time to make an impact on the south coast, but his 29 Championship goals in 2021-22 proved pivotal in Scott Parker’s Cherries achieving promotion.

Marko Grujic – £6.3m

It seems remarkable that Grujic was on Liverpool’s books for four years.

Signed from Red Star after Jurgen Klopp called Grujic personally to convince him to move to Anfield, the Serbian international scored his first goal for the club in a 7-2 League Cup victory at Lincoln.

He joined Porto on a season-long loan shortly after, after similar spells with Red Star, Cardiff and Hertha Berlin. The move to the Portuguese was later made permanent and in 2021-22 he played a part in them reclaiming the Primeira Liga title.

Joe Gomez – £4.1m

The overriding success on this list.

Having joined from Charlton in the summer of 2015, Gomez quickly established himself by providing the assist for the winning goal on his debut.

Injuries subsequently stalled his progress, but the England international has not looked back since his return in 2017. He spent a period as one of Jurgen Klopp’s go-to men, and while he’s never quite reclaimed that status, he remains a valuable squad member, nowadays deputising for Trent Alexander-Arnold as a back-up right-back.

READ: The six stages of Joe Gomez’s rise: ‘At the age of 17 he had everything’

Taiwo Awoniyi – £900k

Another teenager signed by Liverpool and loaned out seemingly every season.

Awoniyi represented *takes breath* FSV Frankfurt, NEC, Royal Excel Mouscron, Gent, Mouscron, Mainz and Union Berlin amid some difficulties in obtaining a UK work permit.

The Nigerian striker joined Union on a permanent deal in 2021 and has shone for them, notching 15 Bundesliga goals this past season.

Divock Origi – £11m

Now 27, it’s amazing to think that the Belgian originally arrived on Merseyside as a teenager all the way back in 2014.

After a frustrating opening to his Anfield career, which included injuries and loans aplenty, Origi won the affection of Reds fans by scoring a last-minute winner in the Merseyside derby in 2018.

Remarkably, Origi further endeared himself with two goals during the amazing comeback win against Barcelona in the 2019 Champions League semi-final, plus the second goal in their final victory over Spurs.

In fact, his eight-year stint at Liverpool was pretty much one big highlight reel of huge moments. He leaves for AC Milan and will forever be remembered as a cult hero at Anfield.

READ: Build the statue: 11 moments that make Divock Origi a Liverpool hero

Samed Yesil – £1m

Yes, we had to Google this one too.

After attracting attention in Germany, Brendan Rodgers swooped to recruit Yesil to his Liverpool ‘project’ in the summer of 2012. Bar a handful of League Cup appearances and Europa League bench-sitting duties, his career at Anfield was played out mainly in the youth team.

Yesil was released at the end of his contract in 2016 and is now playing for German lower-league outfit DJK Teutonia St. Tonis.

Danny Ward – £113k

At first glance, Danny Ward appears one of those signings that screams ‘quota filler’.

On second look, this assumption proves to be entirely accurate. Signed from Wrexham in 2012, Ward had to wait four years for his Liverpool debut. Deputising for Simon Mingolet during an injury crisis, Ward made a fantastic injury-time save during a 2-1 win over Bournemouth.

After being loaned to Huddersfield, Ward secured the Yorkshire side’s surprise promotion with match-winning penalty saves in both the semi-final and final of the play-offs.

A semi-constant fixture in the Wales squad – particularly good in their Euro 2020 campaign – Ward currently provides back-up to Kasper Schmeichel at Leicester.

Jason Banton – Free

A player you’re unlikely to have heard of, Banton spent time in the academies of Arsenal and Blackburn before joining Liverpool in January 2011 after impressing on trial.

The forward failed to break into the first team and was released at the end of the season. Since then, he has embarked on an incredibly nomadic non-league career, playing for 20 (twenty!) different clubs. He was most recently seen playing for Bishop’s Stortford on loan from Kingstonian.

Suso – Undisclosed 

After joining Liverpool’s academy from Cadiz in 2010, Suso had more success at Anfield than many others on this list, making 21 senior appearances in all competitions and scoring one goal.

But the winger failed to fully establish himself in the first team and joined AC Milan in 2015. After a slow start at the San Siro, he began to shine to such an extent he broke into the Spain squad and joined Sevilla in January 2020, winning the Europa League a few months later.

Yusuf Mersin – Undisclosed

Another player you can be forgiven for not knowing, Liverpool signed Mersin from Millwall in January 2011, but the Turkey youth international failed to make the grade on Merseyside.

The goalkeeper later joined Turkish outfit Kasimpasa before returning to England with Crawley Town and now Maidstone United.


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