4 Liverpool youngsters who could make their debuts vs Southampton

This has been a big year for Liverpool's Academy. Several players have made huge steps this season, finding themselves in the first team perhaps ahead of schedule for a number of reasons.

With Liverpool in the midst of a full-blown injury crisis, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has been increasingly forced to turn to the Academy for reinforcements - and he's been happy to do so.

“We are where we are because of them; because the boys really delivered," the German said earlier this month.

“I always had to be flexible, always," he added. “It’s not a real problem, to be honest. As long as you have the players available, you use the boys; you know what they can do."

"We will see how many of them we will have to use and will give the opportunity."

Injury crisis

When Liverpool won the Carabao Cup against Chelsea’s billion-pound squad on Sunday, in the absence of Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara, Dominik Szoboszlai, Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah, academy graduates Caoimhin Kelleher and Conor Bradley started the game.

By the end of the 120 minutes, Bobby Clark, Jayden Danns, James McConnell and Jarell Quansah were all on the pitch, too.

Prior to this season, the latter three had never made a first-team appearance for Liverpool.

Now, with the Reds' injury woes showing no sign of abating and Southampton awaiting in the FA Cup just three days after the cup final, the question begs to be asked: who else could be in line to make their debut?

Here are four candidates.

1) Trey Nyoni

Trey Nyoni Liverpool

Every top club in the land was monitoring Trey Nyoni when he was at Leicester City, but it was Liverpool who won the race for the 16-year-old's signature last summer.

Nyoni's ascent through the ranks has been nothing short of sensational. Progressing swiftly from the under-18 to the under-21 level, he seamlessly integrated into senior training sessions and earned his place in matchday squads.

The midfielder, who operates as a 'number eight', has represented England at youth level and is widely regarded as a player destined for greatness.

In a testament to his burgeoning abilities, Nyoni found himself among the players placed "on standby" for Liverpool's recent match against Luton Town and was an unused substitute for the Carabao Cup final.

2) Lewis Koumas

Like Bobby Clark and Jayden Danns, Lewis Koumas is yet another Liverpool youngster with an ex-professional footballer as a father.

Lewis is the son of Wales playmaker Jason Koumas, a Liverpool youth player who became a cult hero at Tranmere Rovers and West Bromwich Albion.

Incidentally, it was with Tranmere that Lewis took his first steps in football before moving to Liverpool’s Academy in 2016, aged 11.

Another versatile attacker, the 18-year-old has been prolific at Premier League under-18s level and has already been in the seniors’ matchday squad.

He has already tasted action for Klopp’s side in preseason but is still waiting to feature in a competitive game. He, too, was an unused substitute at Wembley.

3) Trent Kone-Doherty

Trent Kone-Doherty joined the Liverpool FC Academy in July 2022 and inked his first professional contract the subsequent year, having previously honed his skills at hometown club Derry City.

The dynamic winger, known for his pace and flair, commenced his journey at Kirkby with the under-18s as a first-year scholar during the 2022-23 season, forming an excellent three-pronged frontline alongside Ben Doak and Lewis Koumas.

Despite his promising start, Kone-Doherty's momentum was halted by injury, interrupting a stellar campaign where he showcased his prowess by bagging 11 goals, providing numerous assists, and making notable contributions in the UEFA Youth League for the under-19s.

The 17-year-old has joined first-team training a number of times this season.

4) Amara Nallo

Amara Nallo, a left-sided centre-half, joined Liverpool FC from West Ham United in September 2023.

Beginning his journey with the under-18s, Nallo quickly made his mark, showcasing his strength and technical ability.

Despite being just 17, he has become a key figure in the under-21s' defence, impressing with his performances even against senior teams in competitions like the EFL Trophy.

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