Good to see young graduates of the Anfield Academy coming through.
Rafa Benitez believes the inclusion of youngsters Nathan Eccleston and David Amoo in his Champions League squad can be an invaluable one for their development.
The Academy graduates join the likes of Jay Spearing, Martin Kelly and Stephen Darby in Rafa’s squad for the group stages, after the trio made their first team debut in the Champions League last season away at PSV Eindhoven.
Speaking about the 28 man squad, Benitez said: “We had to leave two players out of the list which was a difficult decision.
“For the young players to be involved is a very good experience for them. It is important for them to be on the list and if they are in the squad, or play, it would be fantastic for them.
“Always when you go away with the senior players you can learn something so I think that will be really important for them.
“We have to prepare the team for these six games and then hopefully we will have more games when the group finishes.”
Meanwhile, during the international break the Reds boss has been working with a shadow squad at Melwood with some of the younger starlets getting a chance to impress.
“We have been working with some senior and young players and have been playing five-a-sides and doing some tactical work,” said Benitez.
“We played a match against our under-18 team at the Academy the other day and it was good to see the players. The relationship with the Academy is good and it’s positive and much better.
“The young players know if they work hard and improve then they will get their chances.”
Benitez cited the example of Daniel Ayala who has made his first team debut this season.
The Spanish defender made his first start against Stoke City at Anfield and Benitez said he will get further chances in the future.
“Ayala has done really well for us and he is playing very well for the reserves,” he added.
“He is only 18-years-old and is learning and will be a good player for the future.” (Official Liverpool Site)
It’s great to see that the club has some genuine talent coming through and given our financial position it’s doubly so. It’s been far too long since we had some good quality youngsters coming through the youth academy and representing the club on the field of play effectively and now we appear to have six good kids coming through, five Brits and a Spaniard.
The likes of Spearing, Darby, Eccleston, Kelly, Amoo and Ayala are all exhibiting signs of being able to live up to Premier League standards and perhaps even more pleasing is that the majority of these new names grew up a stones throw from Anfield. Rafa Benitez has been putting more of an emphasis on the youthful talents coming through the club and the vexed issue of the homegrown quota that will surely come to pass sooner rather than later was a useful spur to get the club pumping resources in that area. All of this and we haven’t even mentioned the likes of Krisztián Németh and Daniel Pacheco who are also not prospects for the future.