Discussion in 'The Football Forum' started by King Binny, Sep 25, 2020.
At this rate I think Bradley will be the backup RB?
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher knew what he had seen. And just like every other observer, he was hugely impressed.
"A teenager who has come through the Academy, pulling the strings in midfield at the San Siro," he said.
"Take a bow Tyler Morton. The San Siro, I played there only once in my late 20s and for me it was unbelievable, and he is only 19 playing in a game like that where they have won. I thought he was outstanding."
What could have been a nerve-jangling experience at AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday was instead taken in the stride of the midfielder, who has been the breakthrough star from the Academy this season.
Morton has long been touted as a potential first-teamer when first making his way through the junior ranks of his boyhood club, who he has been associated with since the age of seven.
His rate of progress this year, though, has been astonishing.
Barely 12 months ago, Morton was making his debut for the under-23s having shone at U18 level. In January, he scored a sublime goal in the mini-derby against Everton, and was then part of the team that reached the FA Youth Cup final.
Impressing with the Liverpool first-team during pre-season led to a senior debut in the second half of the Carabao Cup win at Norwich City, with a first start in the triumph at Preston North End in the next round.
Europe, however, is the perfect illustration of his rise. In late September, Morton featured in the UEFA Youth League at Porto with his fine searching pass picking out Melkamu Frauendorf to score a late equaliser.
Fast forward two months, he was making his full Champions League bow in the Anfield win over the Portuguese outfit's senior team, given an opportunity thanks to the superlative work of Jurgen Klopp's regulars in securing early qualification to the knockout stages.
Perhaps a reason behind Morton's eagerness to make an instant impact comes from previously missing out on a key development phase. A knee injury meant he barely featured at U16 level, making it imperative he shone with the U18s.
And while Morton's first-team introduction as a defensive midfielder may have come a surprise given his more advanced role in the Academy sides, the player - born three years after veteran Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his senior debut - has always seen himself more of an all-rounder.
"I'm more of a box-to-box midfielder," said Morton earlier this year. "I love a tackle - you don't get many tackles in a game, so when people see it, it's a shock! - but me personally I've seen loads of them!
"I'm not just a playmaker. I like to think I can do a bit of everything."
With the Carabao Cup quarter-final at home to Leicester City in a fortnight followed by the start of Liverpool's FA Cup campaign next month, there will be further opportunities for Morton.
He wasn't the only youngster to enjoy a landmark moment in the San Siro, Conor Bradley introduced in injury time for his third senior outing alongside Max Woltman, the 18-year-old striker making his first-team bow.
Ten of the 23 players in the matchday squad in Tuesday's 2-1 win had come through the Academy while six - Morton, Woltman, Neco Williams, Harvey Davies, James Norris and Trent Alexander-Arnold - had been with the club since pre-Academy level.
For everyone at Kirkby - from the likes of Academy manager Alex Inglethorpe, lead coaches Barry Lewtas and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson and pre-Academy recruitment heads Ian Barrigan and Steve Gorst - it is the ultimate vindication of their methods, with elite development coach Vitor Matos helping draw the right talents to the attention of Klopp.
And it doesn't end there. Even without a clutch of usual starters on Tuesday, Liverpool U19s drew 1-1 in MIlan and have once again won their group in the UEFA Youth League, a competition in which the likes of Williams, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott have previously shone and where Kaide Gordon, Mateusz Musialowski and Owen Beck are among those catching the eye this time around.
Few are the Academy players who can eventually blossom into a first-team regular and save millions in transfer fees in the process.
But the success of the first team under Klopp - along with the work of the Academy staff and the greater integration since the seniors' move from Melwood to the new £50m Kirkby complex - means they are being given every chance right now.
Liverpool teenager Conor Bradley hails 'dream come true' after Champions League debut
Liverpool teenager Conor Bradley shared a handshake with Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic after realising a lifelong dream against AC Milan at the San Siro on Tuesday night.
The Northern Ireland teenager was a late substitute in Italy as Jurgen Klopp’s men ended their Champions League group campaign with a perfect return of six wins from six.
And the highly-rated right back capped off a memorable night when he exchanged post-match pleasantries with former Barcelona, PSG and Manchester United striker Ibrahimovic.
On Instagram, Bradley - a late replacement for Neco Williams - hailed his European bow as a “proud moment for me and my family!”
The 18-year-old, who had made just two Carabao Cup appearances for Liverpool before his outing in Europe, added: “Dreams come true.”
Anfield teammate Williams led the tributes on social media, the Welsh defender joking: “Congrats skinny” with two fire emojis.
Bradley’s Northern Ireland teammates were also quick to congratulate the teenager, with Jordan Jones writing: “Unbelievable mate.”
Sunderland midfielder Corry Evans posted “congrats mate” with an applause emoji while Stoke City’s Jordan Thompson said: “Superb mate”.
Young Liverpool goalkeeper Liam Hughes, who has also been a part of Ian Baraclough’s senior squad in recent months, wrote: “Love it.”
It has been a meteoric rise so far for Bradley who was rewarded with a long term contract with the Premier League giants in July.
The versatile right back made his Northern Ireland debut in May, winning the first of his five caps to date as a late replacement for Stuart Dallas in a 3-0 win over Malta in Austria.
The County Tyrone native, who joined Liverpool from Dungannon United in 2019, made his first competitive start for Northern Ireland in a 2-1 defeat to Bulgaria in a World Cup qualifier in Sofia in October.
Maybe we will sign the next Jonathan David instead?
Toronto FC homegrown forward and Canadian youth international Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty is training with Liverpool, sources tell MLSsoccer.com. He was previously on a training stint with Arsenal.
Marshall-Rutty, 17, made 11 appearances (four starts) for Toronto this year. He was the youngest player in club history to sign a Homegrown contract when he inked his deal at 15 years old. He is also the youngest player to be called up to the senior Canadian men's national team, though is yet to make his debut. A highly-rated talent, Marshall-Rutty was named to The Guardian's Next Generation list, honoring the world's best young players born in 2004.
European interest in the wonderkid is plentiful, including from UEFA Champions League clubs.
A source adds the expectation is that transfer offers will arrive soon, but given he doesn't turn 18 until June and doesn't hold a European Union passport, talks over any potential deal would be for summer 2022 at the earliest. That would be similar to Louisville City and Real Sociedad agreeing on a deal for Jonathan Gomez to go through after he turned 18, as well as Caden Clark joining RB Leipzig from New York Red Bulls. Both transfers will officially happen on January 1.
Toronto FC are in a transformational offseason, with Bob Bradley arriving as head coach and sporting director from LAFC. Bradley has a strong reputation for his developmental work with young players, which should bode well for Marshall-Rutty and TFC's other young talents.
Marshall-Rutty is the latest big-time prospect to come through the Canadian program, following the likes of Alphonso Davies (now of Bayern Munich), Jonathan David (Lille) and Tajon Buchanan (Club Brugge).
I love Binny's updates on the youth team.
LOL, did someone prank whoever wrote the team sheet?
Looks like the four stages of Covid
We won 4-1!