22 Sept 2015

Lawro warns: 'Wonderful' Liverpool sensation will struggle in the Prem 'because of his stature'

Last week, 'wonderful' Liverpool youngster Jordan Rossiter put in an effective performance against Bordeaux in the Europa League, three days later, Brendan Rodgers exorcised him from the match day squad for the home game with Norwich. Given Rossiter's age, it's probably a good decision to ease him in slowly, but Reds legend Mark Lawrenson is unsure whether Rossiter has what it takes to become a first-team regular.

In his Saturday column for the Liverpool Echo, Lawro mused:

"Jordan Rossiter did well, but because of his stature I suspect he is going to have be some player to feature in the Premier League regularly. That's not his fault, though".

It's difficult to know exactly what Lawro is referring to, here:

* If by 'stature', he means Rossiter's height, then it's not really a valid concern. Rossiter is 5'10 right now, and lots of successful footballers are that height, or indeed smaller than that (including many of Liverpool's current players, including Coutinho, Firmino, Ibe, Lallana etc).

* If Lawro is referring to physical build, then yes, Rossiter will probably struggle. He needs to bulk up a little, but that will inevitably come with time. He's only 18, and possibly still growing, so give it three years, and I'm sure he'll be physically stronger.

The question is, will Rossiter feature regularly in the Premier League for Liverpool?

As a Liverpudlian and a Brit, he automatically has an advantage over non-British young players. No foreign academy player has *ever* made it through Liverpool's academy to become a first-team regular.

British youngster are given all the chances at Anfield, and history proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. You just haev to look at the Joao Teixeira situation to see the depressing reality for foreign youngsters:

* Teixeira is 22, has experience of Championship football (9 goals/assists in 35 apps for Brighton last season), and grabbed 4 goals/assists during the recent pre-season period. He's clearly ready for the first-team, yet Rodgers unceremoniously ignores him. To add insult to injury, Rodgers snubbed Teixeira for the Europa League squad, yet included zero-experience teenagers such as Brannagan, and Cleary

* Rossiter is 18, with comparatively little experience of competitive football, yet he regularly trains with the first team; is regularly included in the first-team squad, and also made the Europa League squad.

The whole thing stinks. Plus, with no Scousers currently in the first-team, the club - especially under Brendan Rodgers - will push homegrown players like Rossiter through the system in a bid to create the next Gerrard or Carragher.

At some point, Rossiter - irrespective of fairness or talent - will player regular Premier League games for Liverpool because Rodgers (and the club, to an extent), has a pro-British agenda to fulfill.

That may change, though, when the club's next manager is appointed, and hopefully, it will not be another British manager at the helm.

Don't get me wrong: Rossiter is a talented youngster, but there's just no way (IMO) he should be in the first-team squad ahead of Teixeira, especially when Liverpool are badly struggling for creativity this season.

Author: Jaimie K


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