Brendan Rodgers has revealed how developing talented young players — and giving them a chance at first-team level — will be a key feature of his tenure as he seeks to transform Liverpool into a club fighting for major honors.
Liverpool's starting 11 against Manchester City was its youngest in the league for more than a decade, with an average age of 24 years and 364 days.
Seventeen-year-old Raheem Sterling was given a first top-flight start against the champions, and Rodgers has indicated that he would be prepared to make similarly bold selections in the future.
"Young players will run through a barbed wire fence for you," he told reporters. "Older players will look for the hole or just turn back and not even go through it. But you get that freshness from Raheem. I like exciting players as well and he is a boy that excites you.
"This might be a good opportunity for them. Because we don't have the money that some of our rivals have, I want to make the philosophy through the club that allows us to bring players from the academy into the first team. We want to develop what this club has had for many years and develop top young players."
Sterling is not the only academy hopeful to be given an opportunity under Rodgers, with Adam Morgan earning a competitive debut as a substitute against Hearts last week.
Both have impressed in training, taking in the tactical messages voiced by the new manager.
On Sterling, the boss added: "I have seen a lot of development in him in a short time.
"He takes on a lot of the concepts and he is very good with instructions. Normally wingers want to do their own thing but he is tactically improving every day.
"I am certain over the next few years that he will develop into a very good footballer. We just have to make sure that we keep the pressure off him.
"One of the things that I think I have specialised in is the management of top young players. He is certainly up in that bracket. I look at players like Scott Sinclair and boys of that ilk. He is certainly up there. Maybe more advanced at that age.
"The great thing is that his attitude is wonderful. He is really focused. He comes in and he works well. He produces and he is effective on the pitch."
Photo via Liverpoolfc.com
Powered by WordPress.com VIP