17 Dec 2015

Future Liverpool Star? 'Incredible' striker admits he 'dreams of playing' at Anfield. Possibility or delusion?

Liverpool have a whole host of non-British attacking players currently toiling away in the Academy, including 18-year old striker Toni Gomes, who is determined to make it into the first-XI. Realistic goal, or wishful thinking?

In an interview with the Liverpool Echo this week, Gomes - recently described by U18 boss Neil Critchley as 'incredible' - revealed his 'love' for 'Benteke and Sturridge', and outlined his plan to break into the first team:

“It [training at Melwood] is a good chance to impress Jurgen Klopp. It gives you extra motivation, and one day it might be you who gets picked.

“My dream is to one day be part of the first team here. I go every game at Anfield that I can and I dream of one day playing there.”

Good luck with that! The brutal reality is this: No foreign attacking player has *ever* made it through the academy to become a first-team regular.

In my view, this is an utterly shameful fact, and the reality is that British youngsters are the only Academy players to be given regular chances in the first team.

Scoff all you like, but this is an irrefutable (and disgraceful) fact, and recent examples include Sterling, Ibe, Rossiter, Wisdom, Brannagan, and Randall.

I challenge anyone to name just ONE foreign player from the Academy (attacking or otherwise) who has been given as many chances as the aforementioned players. Just look at how difficult it is for the obviously talented Joao Carlos Teixeira to get regular chances in the first team.

Last season, Teixeria won TWO 'Player of the Year' awards, and he achieved that feat despite BREAKING HIS LEG during the season (!) None of this seems to matter, though. Biased fans continue to claim that Teixeira - who is freakin' 22 years old - is 'not good enough/not ready/insert cliche here' for the first team, even though there is significant evidence to prove that he IS good enough.

If Rossiter or Ibe won two 'Player of the Year' awards in ONE season, they'd be hyped to the nth degree, and lauded as footballing deities by both the fans and the British media. We'd never hear the end of it, and Liverpool fans would be constantly clamouring for their inclusion in the first team.

Despite the endless spin to the contrary, there's no meritocracy at Liverpool's Academy. History proves that talent is largely irrelevant, and in my view (yes, this is an opinion for those who can't spot it), there's a very clear agenda to prioritise the development of British youngster, and within that, Scouse players have an even bigger development advantage.

With that in mind, I wish Gomes luck in achieving his dream, but the brutal reality is that he has very little chance of breaking the shameful curse of history.

Author: Jaimie K


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