Liverpool Youth Teams Thread

Guardian

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You should be post over on a different forum , this is a Liverpool forum and you are posting in a Liverpool youth team thread.
You might care about utd players but personally I'm more interested in what OUR youths are doing than utd's
I posted the news on this site because:

a) Liverpool are in the very same Youth Cup competition.

b) Chelsea have won the last 5 Youth Cups and are now OUT of the competition. So Liverpool will NOT have to contend with them.

I posted this information for the same reasons a moderator on the official Liverpool site posted the news. To inform our fellow members.

Just use your brain next time, eh!
 
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Richard88

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Clyne's contract expires in summer 2020 when he'll be 29, at which stage Hoever will be 18.5 years old and have 2 years experience at the club training under Klopp. That seems like a perfect continuity planning (assuming of course that Hoever develops as expected).

It's really good to see the club playing the long-term game with great young signings, as they can really pay off nicely as we've recently seen with Joe Gomez (signed for £3.5m)
 

cynicaloldgit

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Interesting piece on the homepage about the exciting youngsters coming through the youth ranks. Now, we all know that talented teenagers don’t always make it- for every Gerrard there are a thousand Le Tallecs- but we could have a very good homegrown core in the senior squad in a couple of years’ time.

I suppose the dream scenario would be to have a “world class” academy product in each position; a more realistic one would be to have a viable alternative to the starting player in each position and, judging by the article at least, we could be on our way there.

It’d be interesting to see how the opinions of those of us here who watch the youngsters regularly compare with those expressed in the article.
 

Sweeting

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Interesting piece on the homepage about the exciting youngsters coming through the youth ranks. Now, we all know that talented teenagers don’t always make it- for every Gerrard there are a thousand Le Tallecs- but we could have a very good homegrown core in the senior squad in a couple of years’ time.

I suppose the dream scenario would be to have a “world class” academy product in each position; a more realistic one would be to have a viable alternative to the starting player in each position and, judging by the article at least, we could be on our way there.

It’d be interesting to see how the opinions of those of us here who watch the youngsters regularly compare with those expressed in the article.
I think the article was correctly titled as "The 10 best academy players in the first half of the season" so it could just rate them based on what their output was for the development teams rather than their 1st team potential.

The current U23s XI is not likely to produce many first team prospects at the moment but this will likely change in the 2nd half of the season. I'll break down how I see it player-by-player...

GK
Grabara/Kelleher:
Neither will be in the 1st team anytime soon and they haven't been around long enough to count as "home-grown" (for post-Brexit football) so they will likely remain as the U23s goalkeepers. Good prospects, both of them, with potential to develop into 1st team options in the years to come but our current GK is so strong that it is unlikely to ever be as a No. 1.
Rest of 2017/2018: Both stay

RB
Neco Williams:
Bounces between the U18s and the U23s when needed. Well built full back but not a developed wing back with that outstanding pace or stamina that would be expected of a Liverpool player yet. Will probably settle into the U23 squad full time during the second half of the season.
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay in U23s

Ki-Jana Hoever: Obviously he has become the big news story of the youth sides in recent weeks; largely because of him moving from Ajax, playing well at RB in the Mini Derby and then moving up to train at Melwood (not sure if this was an official move or just part of the futures group). Klopp certainly is looking at him but even so it is unlikely to be anything more than a glimpse of the future. Will probably be looking to embed himself in the U23s defence in the 2nd half of the season, whether that is at RB or shifting across to CB where he has been used at the lower age groups.
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay in U23s

CB
Connor Masterson:
Feels like a long time ago now that he fought his way into travelling squads for the 1st team. He has suffered lots of injuries and doesn't come across as much of a prospect for the first team anymore, should probably be looking to get out on loan as I get the impression he has become a bit of a forgotten man.
Rest of 2017/2018: Loan - League One.

Nathaniel Phillips: Probably the most recognised of our youth team CB options because he played well in pre-season - better than even he thought he could play. Truth be told if Klopp/Liverpool coaching staff ever managed to make a PL defender out of Nat Phillips it would be a remarkable story of incompetence of scouting and coaching for English teams. Phillips had been released as a reserve team RB by Bolton, was heading out of the country and to college 'soccer' in the USA when Liverpool saved his professional career. No one thought he had any business even being at the club, never mind as a CB yet he is now probably our 5th/6th choice CB option. He will stay this season but in all likelihood he will never establish himself here.
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay as cover.

George Johnston: Came through the youth system as a LB and made the switch the CB at U18 level because he doesn't have WB speed. Has put on a lot of muscle and is a decent enough defender with the ball at his feet. Nothing screams out that he particularly special. Good defender by U23 standards, unlikely to ever be more than that for us. I don't think anyone is going to trying especially hard to bring him in on loan yet but perhaps next year he can get out into League Two/One. Could become a dressing room leader, as they say, as a senior U23 in the second half of the season.
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay in U23s.

Juanma: Not quick enough to play at LB, not big enough to play at CB. Club took a bit of a punt on him because of his good youth football CV. He has a nice cultured style of play and if unpressured he is certainly good enough to operate in a possession oriented team. Will move on - whether in january or the summer, so for the sake of argument I'll just put him as leaving in Jan.
Rest of 2017/2018: Sold/Loan - Spain

LB
Adam Lewis:
Talked up as the replacement for Alberto Moreno, certainly has the natural ability to be a useful player but whether he has the match intelligence is another question. Shown a lack of tactical nous in both defensive and attacking positions, prone to losing discipline in tackles, relies too much on the "last ditch" tackle rather reading the play. Has a tremendous left foot, probably the best crosser of the ball at the club, also very good at switching play. Nice dribbling ability, can drive towards the byline but is not as quick as his small stature and motion suggests. Not a realistic option for the 1st team at this stage but has potential to become a squad player in future - is not there yet. Can be a leader for the U23s.
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay in U23s, could move into a midfield role more often.

Yasser Larouci: Has moved through the U18s age group quickly. Not ideally he is naturally right footed but plays on the left hand side, might be moved forwards again in future. Very fast player with a stocky physique making him a hand full at this level. Good technique, likes to shoot from range. Lacks a "wow" moment so far but is just starting to develop as an U23 player. Should become more prominent for the U23s. Not a brilliant defender.
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay in U23s full time.

Tony Gallacher: Has never impressed since his move to Liverpool, looks a bit too "old-school" in his style, needs to be a bit more attacking to have any future. Injuries mean he has hardly had a game this season.
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay in U23s.

CM
Matthew Virtue-Smith:
Finds U23 football a bit too easy now. Struggled on loan at Notts County last season but he was often deployed as a RB where has not featured for Liverpool in a couple of years. Versatility has meant he never was able to pin down a specific place in the squad before but with the captain's armband and license to play as an attacking midfielder he has become a potent weapon from midfield. Needs to get out on loan to somewhere where he will be allowed to play as an advanced player not a defender. Has no chance of making it at Liverpool due to lack of technical ability and pace.
Rest of 2017/2018: Loan - League Two/Scotland

Liam Coyle: Limited midfielder who gives absolutely everything for the club. Lacks size, pace and technique but work rate is second to none. Introduction to the U23 team has coincided with an improvement in results which he has no doubt contributed to with his pressing ability. Comparisons to Craig Roddan would not be misguided, although Roddan had a bit more stature on the pitch.
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay in U23 squad.

Isaac Christie-Davies: Was a disappointment initially when he was deployed as a DM and struggled to influence the game. Very well rounded player but doesn't have anything that makes him stand out. Was released by Chelsea and given a chance to switch his position here and see if we could make something of him. Doesn't look like breaking into the first team, U23 spot may be under pressure soon. Has moved into an AM position in recent weeks, his physicality makes it a nice option for this level but not going to be a long term prospect for the 1st team. Loan spell away could be good for him to define his game.
Rest of 2017/2018: Loan - League One

Curtis Jones: Has had an injury which stopped his progress early into this season but has since come back into the squad and played very well for two consecutive games. Has an issue with his concentration dropping and makes needless mistakes, I think that is more to do with U23 football being below his level. Very skilful, lovely technique, enjoys dribbling and committing players - maybe a bit too much. Won't be leaving the club on loan but equally I don't think he's close to breaking in regularly at 1st team level. Is the youngest member of the U23 squad (unless Hoever is already counted) and that is easy to forget sometimes. Bit of a maverick so aiming to be "the next Shaqiri".
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay in U23 - occasional 1st team cover

Pedro Chirivella: Chirivella is essentially the same player he was when he was 16 and first signed from Valencia. He plays the game "wearing slippers" even though we sometimes need him to step up and be more aggressive. Very good passer but can come across laboured and cumbersome. Seems highly unlikely that he will make any impact on our first team and a loan spell away again looks plausible.
Rest of 2017/2018: Loan - Netherlands or similar

CF/WF
Glen McAuley:
Second choice central striker behind Liam Millar, very willing runner but not a clinical goalscorer even against U23 defences. Can be useful in harrying defences but is pretty limited.
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay in U23s

Liam Millar: Canadian striker who can also operate out wide, quite a straight forward runner and predictable in his movements. Better in front of goal than McAuley. Fast, not particularly skilful which is probably a limiting factor if he was ever to try and be a 1st team player. He will probably become a mainstay of the Canadian national team long before getting a sniff at Liverpool. He will stay in the U23s this year but would be interesting to see how he would do on loan.
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay in U23s.

Rafa Camacho: Has all the attributes and already played well at first team level, albeit as a defender not a winger. Hasn't been played as a wing back in the youth sides suggests he isn't seen as an option for the 1st team there either. Quick, strong, unpredictable but has a good level head on his shoulders. Wild in front of goal and I think this lack of composure will hold him back from the 1st team. Would lime to see him go on loan if the opportunity is there.
Rest of 2017/2018: Loan - Championship

Bobby Adekanye: Could easily be the most naturally gifted player in the whole academy. Incredible technique, absolutely rapid, can beat anyone 1v1, not a good finisher but still gets a decent goal return when he cuts in right to left. For some reason though he just never can put it together into a complete performance and it is this inconsistency that makes him very close to running out of opportunities to impress. Would like to see more pressing and hard running out of him. His inability to stay fit is also a big limiting factor.
Rest of 2017/2018: Stay in U23s.
 

Sweeting

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To follow on from the above - if my predictions/ideas about the players become true then the second half of the season will see more promotions from the U18s. Could see something like...

Grabara
Hoever Phillips Johnston
Williams Coyle Lewis Larouci
Adekanye Millar Jones

Plenty of opportunities for likes of Glatzel, Duncan, Cain et al. to make a mark.
 

Sweeting

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I am at work, last day of the year, so I'm going to continue and cover everyone of note...

Players I forgot and loanees
Rhian Brewster:
Although I forgot to include him Brewster is actually the closest to becoming a permanent first team player. He has missed a year of football now after his injury at Manchester City U23s but has regularly been mentioned by Klopp as an option for the second half of the season. Brewster is lightening fast, has excellent movement and versatility to play all three of the forward positions. Natural eye for goal. Rhian will be expected to get some playing time for the 1st team before the end of the season.
Rest of 2018/2019: Stay in U23s - cover for 1st team

Ovie Ejaria: Officially back from his loan spell at Rangers now and has reached a crossroads in his career. Did OK in small sample of games when he has been with the 1st team but has struggled in two loan spells away from the club. Has some nice features to his game - good first touch, long legs that confuse even himself at times, can get forward from midfield and contribute to the goals as well. He is however 21 years old and therefore doesn't appear to be an option for the first team. Could really do with going on loan to a team that keep the ball on the floor.
Rest of 2018/2019: Loan - Championship

Dominic Solanke: Does he even qualify to be listed here? Probably not in truth. He came to the club already having outgrown U23 football but is some way behind first team standard. Loan spell seems a desperate need.
Rest of 2018/2019: Loan - Premier League

Marko Grujic: Praise doesn't much higher than being called "the best midfielder in 20 years" to play for his loan club Hertha Berlin (although competition is not exactly fierce for that title). Grujic is your prototypical central midfielder - good passing range, physical, not a brilliant tackler but has the ability to read play and make interceptions, good shot from range. Comes across as quite lazy at times and can be very one paced. Appears currently to be a better fit for more advanced midfield positions but could move back as he becomes more experienced. Might be a replacement for Milner in a season or two but doesn't offer the same versatility or experience.
Rest of 2018/2019: Stay on loan at Hertha Berlin

Ryan Kent: Started out really well for Rangers before, yet again, injuries have set him back. Lightening fast with a direct running style that makes defences uncomfortable. Struggles to deliver the final ball and doesn't contribute anywhere near enough goals for a guy that is so attacking. He will come out to be just too limited to be a Liverpool player in future and so needs to find a club at his level for his long term future.
Rest of 2018/2019: Stay on loan at Rangers

Sheyi Ojo: My personal favourite for many years and so I have to try and temper myself when talking about him as a prospect. Has gone on loan to Rennes and struggled to make an impact. I like the choice to go and do something different than bouncing around various Championship clubs but it has not worked out so far. He is "famine or feast" - can win a game in a moment or barely touch the ball for 90 minutes. Chance to become a Liverpool player has gone, no presence in pressing game. Can he establish himself at Rennes? Seems unlikely.
Rest of 2018/2019: New loan - Germany/Championship

Connor Randall: Admit it, you didn't realise he still played for us did you? A fractured cheekbone has meant he has hardly had a chance to get into Rochdale's team this year. He is best off staying there and seeing if a better 2019 can lead to a contract.
Rest of 2018/2019: Stay on loan at Rochdale

Ben Woodburn: High hopes when he signed for Sheffield Utd but the fact he had not nailed a favoured position to the mast when he played for our youth sides always looked a bit risky. Sheff Utd tried him as a striker, winger and attacking midfielder before apparently giving up on him altogether. He returned to Liverpool a couple of times for U23 matches and looked at home playing "as Firmino" in the CF position dropping into midfield when needed. Has a good eye for a pass, intelligent movement, scores plenty of goals at youth level. He needs to make sure he nails down "his" position or his versatility will kill his chances.
Rest of 2018/2019: Return from loan, stay with U23s.

Harry Wilson: By far the best loan spell we have seen in recent years. Maybe ever. Spectacular free kicks against Man Utd aside, Wilson has proven he is one of the best players in the Championship with his pressing, passing and long range goals. He was deployed almost exclusively as a winger for Liverpool but has been deployed more centrally by Derby and caused havoc there, outperforming Mason Mount who arrived to more fanfare and hype (and has not played badly by any means himself). Wilson is older, he turns 22 before the end of the season, but his performances make him a real option for squad depth. Unlike some, I am not scared of taking someone and making them a squad option - players don't regress or stop improving when they are in a winning squad with world class coaches. Wilson has a chance to be in the rotation with Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Rest of 2018/2019: Stay on loan at Derby County

Allan: Not going too well for Allan. Lots was made of Klopp making nice comments about him after one training session but after several years out on loan he has struggled to do anything of note - including a poor season in Cyprus - which does not bode well. He has managed the odd game here and there for Frankfurt this season but is not a regular first team option there and won't be one here either.
Rest of 2018/2019: Stay on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt

Taiwo Awoniyi: There was a bit of a buzz in pre-season about Awoniyi after a stats breakdown listed him as one of the best young players in Belgium last season. He grabbed a few goals and generally looked interesting with a bit of pace and strength to boot. He has not continued in the same vein however and has dropped out of the team at Gent after initially being a mainstay of the team. No goals in a couple of months and getting only "garbage time" minutes. He is the same age as Harry Wilson but is not on the same career trajectory anymore and should be looking for a permanent move in the summer.
Rest of 2018/2019: Stay on loan at Gent.

Shamal George: Currently working as the back up for Tranmere, featuring only three times and conceding eight goals. Lots of better goalkeepers in the youth system currently and it does take a long time for GKs to come through and establish themselves. Has the frame to become a solid goalkeeper in the football league.
Rest of 2018/2019: Stay on loan at Tranmere

Corey Whelan: Quietly progressed through Liverpool's youth ranks as a safe option at both RB and CB. Not especially quick or strong but is a calming influence who, in youth terms, has seen it all. Has never been hyped up but is a reliable 7/10 player every week. Loan spell at Crewe, while a lower level than maybe he would have expected, looks to be working out well. He is 21 years' old now and so is unlikely to ever break through here but could be nice addition for a cheap price in League One.
Rest of 2018/2019: Stay on loan at Crewe

Herbie Kane: I did not see it coming with Herbie, I'll be honest. For Liverpool U23s Kane was a very effective defensive midfielder with some versatility to switch to RB. He has a nice range of passing, tough tackler and a decent engine to get around the pitch. Sometimes you got the impression he was not at home in a technical passing orientated team. He seems at his best playing on the backfoot. At Doncaster he has flourished into a complete midfielder, with a more regular goal return than most CFs. Six goals and six assists this season. The Next Steven Gerrard - as TalkSport unhelpfully called him in November - he is not but his performances this year will probably see him playing Championship football next season and keeping slim hopes of breaking through at Liverpool alive.
Rest of 2018/2019: Stay on loan at Doncaster

Anderson Arroyo: I cannot find any evidence that this guy actually exists.
Rest of 2018/2019: Find his way back from the vortex and into the land of the living.


Tier 1 - Realistic chance for First Team action this season (6)
Rhian Brewster, Curtis Jones, Rafa Camacho, Ben Woodburn, Dominic Solanke, Nathaniel Phillips

Tier 2 - Realistic chance for First Team action in 2019/2020 (4)
Harry Wilson, Marko Grujic, Adam Lewis, Ki-Jana Hoever

Tier 3 - Not likely to see any significant First Team opportunities in next two years but have shown potential (7)
Herbie Kane, Bobby Adekanye, Liam Millar, Yasser Larouchi, Kamil Grabara, Caomhin Kelleher, Neco Williams

Tier 4 - Currently has not shown required ability to challenge for a First Team position in future but has time to turn it around (6)
Glen McAuley, Isaac Christie-Davies, Tony Gallacher, Liam Coyle, George Johnston, Connor Masterson

Tier 5 - Unlikely to see first team action, have found level at another club or club/player are likely to be actively looking to move on (12)
Juanma, Anderson Arroyo, Corey Whelan, Shamal George, Taiwo Awoniyi, Allan, Ovie Ejaria, Connor Randall, Ryan Kent, Pedro Chirivella, Matthew Virtue-Smith, Sheyi Ojo
 
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Nikola

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Edit: just add to this post, for anyone who has some spare time, please read the replies to Doncaster's official Twitter account's announcement about the extension of Kane's loan. I've never seen that level of adoration for a player in League One, especially that young. They are convinced they are getting promoted now that he's staying until the end of the season and are saying he's better than Dele Alli at this age - and they are not even joking. Incredible that, though we'll see if he can make progress at Liverpool.
 
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legalalien

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Nikola

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costared

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Interesting piece on the homepage about the exciting youngsters coming through the youth ranks. Now, we all know that talented teenagers don’t always make it- for every Gerrard there are a thousand Le Tallecs- but we could have a very good homegrown core in the senior squad in a couple of years’ time.

I suppose the dream scenario would be to have a “world class” academy product in each position; a more realistic one would be to have a viable alternative to the starting player in each position and, judging by the article at least, we could be on our way there.

It’d be interesting to see how the opinions of those of us here who watch the youngsters regularly compare with those expressed in the article.

I think that is a bit optimistic.
 

Redopium

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Sporting Lisbon have made an approach to sign Liverpool youngster Rafa Camacho on loan in January.Liverpool have also been contacted by a number of Championship clubs asking about Camacho's availability.
 

Kopstar

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Anybody know if Brewster's nearing a return? I seem to recall the injury was supposed to put him out to around Christmas time but I don't know whether that was subsequently revised or how his recovery has been going?
 

Redopium

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Anybody know if Brewster's nearing a return? I seem to recall the injury was supposed to put him out to around Christmas time but I don't know whether that was subsequently revised or how his recovery has been going?
He's back in light training a couple of weeks but I don't think we will see him anytime soon.
 

Guardian

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It will be interesting to see if future England star Curtis Jones is brought in for the FA Cup match against Wolves - but he'll need to have shown Klopp he is seriously "going for it".
 

The Elusive 19th

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It will be interesting to see if future England star Curtis Jones is brought in for the FA Cup match against Wolves - but he'll need to have shown Klopp he is seriously "going for it".
Earth doesn't revolve around Jones. Atleast not yet. Your obsession with Jones is putting me off from hoping the best for the lad. Please stop.
 

GermanRed

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Does anyone know who will travel to germany for the indoor tournament over the weekend?
 

GermanRed

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https://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/inhalt.mercedes-benz-junior-cup-mario-gomez-lost-gruppen-aus.a1e78b28-4a62-4412-9147-d3864282014a.html

LFC Under 19s to take part in the prestigous Mercedes Benz Junior Cup in Sindelfingen (near Stuttgart) in january. It's a indoor tournament which is being played every year since 1991. Famous footballers who played in that tournament before having their breakthrough are Özil, Kimmich, Rashford, Sane, Neuer, Khedira, Balde Keita, Höwedes, Bacary Sagna, Nuri Sahin, Alexander Hleb...
Liverpool won the tournament after beating Bayern in the semi final and Rapid Vienna in the final.

https://www.youtube.com/user/mercedesbenzfussball
 

legalalien

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What's going on with Camacho? He's being talked about as making an appearance against Wolves but the main site has a story where Sporting Lisbon reps were supposedly coming to negotiate a deal last Friday.
 

Limiescouse

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What's going on with Camacho? He's being talked about as making an appearance against Wolves but the main site has a story where Sporting Lisbon reps were supposedly coming to negotiate a deal last Friday.
Made the bench two weeks ago, then the week after the news breaks about a permanent deal (of some variety) to go back to Portugal. It's all a little confusing, but there is some speculation that we are willing to move him on, but with injuries to Gomez and Matip may try and leave it until later in the window.
 



jgw_geneseo

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Made the bench two weeks ago, then the week after the news breaks about a permanent deal (of some variety) to go back to Portugal. It's all a little confusing, but there is some speculation that we are willing to move him on, but with injuries to Gomez and Matip may try and leave it until later in the window.
I saw somewhere we are going to use him tomorrow in the cup then allow him to go. I think the echo, but can't remember.
 

Limiescouse

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I saw somewhere we are going to use him tomorrow in the cup then allow him to go. I think the echo, but can't remember.
That is the whisper, and it makes sense. If we get past Wolves both Gomez and Matip will probably be in contention for the next round allowing us to rotate at the back without resorting to youth team options. So that sort of approach would make sense, and so its difficult to tell whether this idea is the result of a legit source or its just one those stories that makes too much sense to not just pull it out of thin air and have it seem truthy.