Reds youth revolution taking flight

Liverpool's football academy director Frank McParland is pleased with the recent success achieved by the club's youth players.

Football News: Liverpool

By staff

Hot on the heels of Raheem Sterling's breakthrough into the Liverpool first team came the Europa League victory over Young Boys, recorded by a starting eleven made up mostly of Reds youth players. Although the likes of Andre Wisdom, Suso and Sterling are by no means complete products, their performances have given Liverpool supporters hopes of a bright future.

With the club struggling to match their Premier League rivals in terms of spending, Parland told the Guardian that academy staff was working hard to produce players that fit manager Brendan Rodgers' ideals.

"We believe we're doing it the right way – the kids understand tactically better now," he said.

"They still have work to do when they go with the first-team but the work is getting done properly and there's no one better than Brendan to make the necessary tweaks once they are with him."

The Reds boss is keen for the squad to play in a possession-based style typically associated with Spanish players. It is one that is not unfamiliar to academy youths thanks to former manager Rafa Benitez's overhaul of the establishment during his reign.

"The programme introduced in 2009 is the Spanish way of playing, which is about pressing hard, keeping the ball and being verycomfortable in possession, all the coaches work to that plan," Parland revealed.

"We have an established style in regards to how we play and fortunately it's not far away from what Brendan wants to do with the first team."

With Rodgers having declared his intentions to provide younger players with opportunities, the director was confident the academy would soon achieve its aim.

"This is the fourth year of the project and already we've had the youngest player to have played for Liverpool in Jack Robinson, the third youngest in Raheem Sterling, and then there is Flanno [Jon Flanagan] and [Adam] Morgan, who are both in the top 20. So in the history of a club that is 120 years old, four of its youngest players have come through the current youth setup," Parland stated.

"That shows we're making an impact and pushing the kids on quicker. The target is to have 50% of the first-team squad coming through the academy."

Raheem Sterling is likely to feature in the starting line-up when Liverpool welcome Manchester United for their Premier League clash tomorrow [Sunday].

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