Liverpool's next five rising academy stars to watch

12 April 2013 12:50

After Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom have all made the step up from the Liverpool academy to the first team the question on most fans lips is . who's next?

Over the past few seasons fans have seen glimpses of what lies behind the doors of the Liverpool academy as a few players have made appearances in cup ties, Europa League, and Pre-season tours.

I’m just going to outline who i believe will make the step up next season.

First on my list is local boy Adam Morgan.

After impressive outings at almost every level and being a constant goal machine look for Morgan to step next season if not towards the end of this season.

He featured on Liverpool's last pre-season tour in the USA and grabbed a goal against Toronto and Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for the youngster saying: "He's technically good. He's got a natural eye for goal - he's got that natural instinct to score, but I was also pleased with the cleverness in his pressing".

In the 2010/11 season he netted in 13 consecutive games for Liverpool's Academy and reserve teams, including his debut reserves goal against Bolton and one in the U18s 6-0 win over Manchester United and recently grabbed a brace in the under-21’s tie with Arsenal (08/04/13).

There’s no doubting that he has natural ability and when one of Liverpool's greatest strikers (Robbie Fowler) describes you as one of the best finishers he had ‘seen for a long, long time’ you know that this lad is going places.

Next up is Krisztian Adorján a lesser known player who can operate as an attacking midfielder or as a striker who's almost being over shadowed by the goal scoring feats of Morgan but a superb player none the less.

He's the sort of player who's slipped under the radar but has been outstanding during Liverpool’s NextGen campaign.

His technical skills are something that will almost certainly appeal to Rodgers as he is a player that truly would fit into the "Brendan Rodgers style of play".

Adorján started his footballing career in Hungary at the Sándor Karoly football academy which is considered by many as one of the best football academies as it belongs to one of the most successful teams, MTK Budapest.

He travelled to Liverpool in 2009 for a trial at the club and after a week, he was signed up to Liverpool FC’s academy alongside compatriot Patrik Poór.

The Hungarian is out-of-contract this summer and Liverpool would do well to tie him down to another contact.

Ryan McLaughlin is next on my list. A Northern Ireland youth international who signed in at the Academy in the summer of 2011, he's fast, powerful and an excellent dribbler of the ball.

The 18-year-old's displays haven’t gone unnoticed as he earned a call up to the Northern Ireland squad already in his young career.

During the 2012 pre-season, Brendan Rodgers took McLaughlin on the first team's tour of the USA. He made his senior bow on 25 July against Roma, and faced the daunting task of have Italian legend Francesco Totti as his direct opponent. He played the first 45 minutes and greatly impressed with his slick passing and movement and effective defensive work.

He has previously stated that he models his game on Barcelona right back Dani Alves which is always a good thing as Alves is regarded as one of the world’s best.

Look for McLaughlin to make the breakthrough next season as possible cover for Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique.

Right, onto Conor Coady a player who's been on the fringes of the first team for almost two years now.

There is a slight snag when it comes to Coady though, that seems to be where exactly to play the versatile youngster.

He's been asked to play in a variety of positions and no matter where he plays he doesn’t seem uncomfortable, which is a great quality to have but it does mean he could be overlooked for a player who's position is set in stone.

If the club sees his future as a centre-back then next year may just be his chance to shine with Jamie Carragher retiring he could be called up to cover.

He's also held down the defensive Midfield role during Europa League matches and could be used as competition or cover for Lucas and Joe Allen who have been off their game due to injuries and loss of form.

Finally we come to Jordon Ibe, my personal pick to make the grade and become a mainstay in the Liverpool XI.

There's a saying that goes if you are good enough then you are old enough and this applies to Ibe here.

Since signing from Wycombe in December 2011 the youngster has had people talking, his performances have left many wondering when the 17-year-old would make the step up to the main stage.

Well a call up to the bench against Southampton last month for a 17-years-old is a good start.

Ibe said recently that: "Alex Inglethorpe has helped me by showing me clips of Cristiano Ronaldo," Ibe explained to the Liverpool Echo. "20 of Ronaldo's goals last season were one touch finishes at the back post. He's been helping me to get within the frame of the goal and in the six-yard box.

"I haven't scored a lot of goals this season; I have plenty of assists, but with what Alex is showing me I hope I can score a few more goals towards the end of the season."

Ibe humbleness and hard work are something that will only help him reach the top, look for him to have a similar effect to that of Raheem Sterling when he gets the call up.

Source: DSG