5 Aug 2015

Done Deal: Liverpool confirm exciting 'over-achieving' attacker who 'impressed' Macca has 'signed' new deal

On Tuesday, exciting Liverpool youngster Sheyi Ojo sealed a season-long loan move to Wolverhampton Wanderers, but as revealed by LFC today, the 18-year old has also signed a new contract with the club.

According to a statement on the official Liverpool FC website:

"Sheyi Ojo has today signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool"

Ojo - described by Liverpool as a 'pacey winger' who can be a 'nightmare' for defenders - scored his first senior goal for Liverpool last Sunday during the Reds' pre-season friendly with Swindon.

That wasn't, however, enough to persuade Brendan Rodgers to keep him in the first team squad this season, which will probably disappoint the youngster, who recently made it clear that he wants to be in the first-team set-up this year:

"Them [Sterling and Ibe] being in the first team gives me hope that it could be me if I do well. Hopefully, when I am back at Liverpool I’m an improved player ready to be involved with the first team.”

Not quite, but on the plus side, Ojo appears to be following Jordon's Ibe's career trajectory.

Ibe spent the first half of last season on-loan before being recalled in January, and there's every possibility that the same thing will happen with Ojo next year.

It's always good to have a ready-made back-up plan. Ibe is capable of replacing Sterling in the squad, and if the worst happens, and Ibe goes rogue (like Sterling), then Ojo is (arguably) capable of replacing him in the squad.

Steve McManaman certainly thinks that Ojo is destined for great things. In May, he told the Liverpool Echo:

“Sheyi (Ojo), Ryan Kent and Harry Wilson, when they attack players, they’re very, very confident and they’re playing very well. I think they’ve come on leaps and bounds this year, I’m really impressed. If anything they’re over-achieving"

Over the years, Liverpool's development of youth players leaves a lot to be desired, but comparatively speaking, Rodgers is doing a creditable job of bringing young attacking players through the academy and into the first team.

* Prior to Sterling's emergence, Owen, Fowler, Gerrard, and McManaman were the only young attack-minded players to make it through the Liverpool youth system to become first-team regulars.

* That's only FOUR players in 25 years.

* Now, in the last two years: Sterling became a fixture in the team; Ibe looks like he'll become a regular, and Ojo, and Teixeira, are knocking on the door.

* If the latter two make it, that'll be four young attacker players breaking into the first team in the space of 2-3 years, which is more successes than the preceding 25-years.

Historically, the odds are against Ojo, and Teixiera becoming first-team regulars, and the probability is that at least one of them will go the same way as Suso, Alberto, and countless others over the years.

However, if only one of the three becomes a first team regular, it'll still be a marked improvement over the historical black hole of attacking player development at Anfield, so here's hoping either Ojo or Teixeira makes the grade.

On a related note: After a productive summer (3 assists/1 goal), there's absolutely no excuse to ignore Teixeira this season.

At the age of 22, the Portuguese attacker is ready to be given a chance, and at the very least, he should be ahead of Lazar Markovic in the pecking order.

Author: Jaimie K


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