Jurgen Klopp breaks Liverpool record with starting XI vs Union SG

Jurgen Klopp broke a Liverpool record on Thursday as he named his starting XI against Union SG in the UEFA Europa League.

As expected, Jurgen Klopp named a much-changed Liverpool team for the Reds' final UEFA Europa League group-stage clash against Union SG. Liverpool don't have anything riding on the game as they've guaranteed top spot in the group after five fixtures.

And with a busy Christmas period, resting players is vital - especially as Manchester United visit Anfield on Sunday. So with all of that in mind, Klopp left the majority of his senior players at home.

Wataru Endo is the only player involved over 25. Cody Gakpo, Caoimhin Kelleher, Ibrahima Konaté, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott are the other first-team names starting the fixture. Jarrel Quansah isn't quite a 'first-team' name but has played plenty this season.

Luke Chambers, Ben Doak, Kaide Gordon and Conor Bradley all got the nod, too. They're all academy players, adding a burst of further youth to the team.

And this is a particularly youthful team. As Michael Reid points out on X, the average age here is 22 years and 156 days. That makes it the youngest starting XI Liverpool have ever put out in a European fixture.

Remarkably, it's not the youngest Liverpool XI, nor the youngest Klopp himself has named. That came in 2020 when he essentially played an actual academy side in an FA Cup 4th round replay against Shrewsbury Town.

Liverpool won that game, too, as Jones became the youngest starting captain in club history. He'll take up that mantle against Union SG, too, nearly four years later.

All in all, it's a further example of Klopp's faith in youth and his willingness to hand games to kids. It's something that has worked in the past, with Jones, Elliott, and Trent Alexander-Arnold being perfect examples of it working.

Perhaps another of today's teenagers can make an impression and follow in their footsteps.

Share This Article