I can remember, not to long ago, we were all complaining about our academy, we were not producing any players for the first team, nobody was making a name for themselves and looking like bursting into the firstmteam and we were not even selling players from the academy for a decent amount of money to clubs lower down the ladder, in short the academy wasn't paying for itself. There were some exceptions but overall we were seen to be falling behind our rivals both at home and in Europe with both the quality and quantity of players coming out of the academy.
Rafa Benitez in his time managing the club seemed to take the youth squads more seriously, brought in his own coaches and for the first time insisted that the tactics and formations used mimicked the first team, allowing players to learn and prepare for hopefully a future callous tongue senior squad but also allows the staff to learn far more about the players giving them far more opportunities to succeed.
Brendan Rodgers has carried on the work done and although he has changed many of the coaches he has kept the same ethos and beliefs in the academy, with all the teams still mimicking the formations of the first team. It's vital that the academy is allowed to continue the work they are doing rather than rip everything up and change along with every change in management or because of a poor season, long term planning is essential.
Liverpool have started to feel the benefits of this long term, forward thinking approach as players have, over the last few years started to push for first team places and as we now have a manager who is prepared to take the risk and give young players a chance. We have seen Sterling, Ibe, Suso, Teixeira, Sinclair, Rossiter, Williams, Flanagan, Robinson, Smith, Wisdom all given a chance over the last couple of seasons with Sterling and Flanagan establishing themselves as first team regulars and Sterling in particular winning rave reviews and now classed by many as the best teenager in world football. All the names listed have a chance of making it at Liverpool but if they don't will make our club some money. Not all the players at Melwood will make it into the first team but it is vital that if they don't make it at our club that they reach a high enough standard to be sold on making the club money and paying for the future of Melwood.
Not all the players at our Academy are scouted and brought into the club at a very young age we are buying in young players as well, recent sensation Rossiter has been at the club since he was six years old and is tipped for a big future, others Sterling and Ibe both cost the club but in both cases looks like the investment will pay off big time. It's important that we continue to find the very best local players and work towards getting them in to the first team, i would hope that we would be able to have a local player around the first team squad, I think the support like it. It would be a shame if local boys started leaving the area and making it big in other teams, we need to ensure that nobody slips through the net. At the same time we need to be bringing in the best young talent from around the world, we can't afford as a club to but the worlds best players but if we can find them as juniors then we may just stand a chance. We can do it Sterling has every chance of developing into a world beater and already has a transfer value in the tens of millions.
Our academy has come on in leaps and bounds and over the next few years with the players listed above reaching their potential, I think we will be classed as one of the best in the world, with this reputation and the reputation of our manager for playing and developing young players we should be able to attract many young players to the club making us even stronger.