Who is Trey Nyoni? Liverpool midfield starlet 'on standby' amid Anfield injury crisis

Liverpool’s injury crisis has ratched up in recent weeks with Jurgen Klopp’s options severely restricted all over the pitch. 

Key performers like Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota, Curtis Jones and Dominik Szoboszlai are among the star names currently absent with no firm return date in sight. 

It was reported ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League game against Luton Town on Wednesday night at Anfield that manager Klopp was ready to place some youth and academy players “on standby” with a long fixture list closing in before the international break. 

The Reds are back in action this weekend in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea and are fighting on four fronts to claim trophies in the 56-year-old’s final season in the Anfield hotseat. 

Without the likes of Jones and Szoboszlai, Klopp is in urgent need of midfield reinforcements and one name on the list is reported to be Trey Nyoni. 

Who is Trey Nyoni?

An elegant, rangy No.8, Nyoni is only 16 years old but has been fast tracked through Liverpool’s age groups since his signing last summer. 

Liverpool’s recruitment team have been working long and hard in identifying the best talent available at clubs around the United Kingdom in recent years. 

Since the formal exit of the UK from the EU, Liverpool’s policy has had to be adapted as there is now a ban on foreign players aged under 18 from joining clubs in the country. 

Stefan Bajcetic was the last such player to benefit from the rule and, as such, Liverpool’s focus has been domestic over the last couple of seasons. 

Young stars in the Liverpool ranks such as Ben Doak (Celtic), Trent Kone-Doherty (Derry City), and Bobby Clark (Newcastle) are among those to be summoned from academies around Great Britain and Northern Ireland in recent times. 

Is Trey Nyoni Zimbabwean?

Nyoni was born in England to Zimbabwean parents and was in the Leicester City academy for 10 years before being attracted to Liverpool last August. Having been tracked by all of England’s top clubs, it was the Reds who won the race for his signature. 

Leicester had no issue in playing Nyoni in the under-18 Premier League when he was only 15 and he also turned out for the under-21s in the Premier League International Cup last December. He played 13 times, scoring twice at under-18 level for the Foxes in total. 

Leicester were naturally unhappy about losing one of their crown jewels and a final fee for Nyoni will be set at a tribunal. 

Does Trey Nyoni play for Liverpool’s first team?

He took no time to settle into Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s under-18 side, scoring in his first three matches and assisting in his fourth. 

He scored a 96th-minute winner at Kirkby on his debut in a mini-Merseyside derby against Everton and his reputation has only grown from there. 

There was an excellent individual goal in the 7-1 demolition of Sunderland and it didn’t take long for Nyoni to race through the age groups. 

“He is a very talented young player, still with a lot to learn but he has made a good start for us,” Bridge-Wilkinson said last year. 

“We will continue to work hard with him to keep on improving and he certainly has an eye for a goal, as we have seen with some excellent strikes so far, and long may that continue.”

Trey Nyoni Liverpool

Trey Nyoni Liverpool

He has played in five Premier League 2 matches - at under-21 level - and has already been included in the Liverpool first-team squad this season. 

Having originally been called up to train with the first team under Klopp ahead of the Europa League match against Toulouse in October, Nyoni sat on the bench for a Premier League game against Brentford at Anfield in November. 

He wasn’t eligible to play in the Toulouse game and although he didn’t get on the pitch against the Bees, he shared a touching moment at full-time when Klopp approached and put his arms around his shoulders on the way off the field. 

He has been a star this year for the Reds in their FA Youth Cup campaign, playing 90 minutes of the 7-1 demolition of Arsenal as well as the last round against Fulham, a 3-0 victory. 

More recently, he played - and scored - for Barry Lewtas’s under-21s against Newcastle last weekend. He was also seen on the bench for the senior FA Cup victory against Arsenal in January. 

Who are Liverpool’s best academy players?

Nyoni was name-checked by the manager in January after Liverpool beat Norwich City in the FA Cup while discussing the rude health of the Reds academy, headed by Alex Inglethorpe. 

In the 5-2 home win, academy graduates like James McConnell, Curtis Jones, Conor Bradley, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jarell Quansah were all involved in the action while Owen Beck and Bobby Clark stayed on the bench. 

"You don’t know a few yet!”, said Klopp. "Maybe you know them, but they were not with us yet on the pitch. There’s a lot to come still, really, there. 

"Today Bobby Clark didn’t come on and I think he did particularly well in the last few games, Trey [Nyoni] and Dannsy [Jayden Danns]  are special as well from the Under-18s, [Lewis] Koumas. 

"There are a lot of really good players coming up still. The academy is in a good moment, I would say, production-wise. It’s wonderful."

Calum Scanlon and Kaide Gordon have also been in and around the first team this season and the long-term prospects of Nyoni look rosy should his development continue apace. 

Does Trey Nyoni play for England?

He is regarded as one of the best players for his position in his age group nationwide and already has international honours to his name. 

He scored on his under-16 debut for England against Italy in August 2022 in a 3-2 win, going on to earn seven caps at that level and winning the 2023 Montaigu Cup - a prestigious youth tournament that has previously been graced by Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Pavel Nedved. 

Nyoni has since been called into the under-17 reckoning, making his debut last October in a 2-2 draw against Norway. English-born, the player nonetheless retains eligibility for Zimbabwe owing to his heritage.

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