Liverpool have swooped again to sign one of Britain’s top prospects. Roy Hodgson has snapped up defender Danny Wilson from Rangers on a three year deal. Jonjo Shelvey was signed earlier in the summer from Charlton.
What these signings show is that Liverpool’s days of investing heavily in foreign youth are over. Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher were the last players to come through the youth academy at Liverpool and establish themselves in the first team.
In the past decade, a steady flow of young European talent has been signed for the Anfield club, only to leave without fulfilling their potential. Bruno Cheyrou, Anthony Le Tallec and Florent Sinama Pongolle all spring to mind.
As far as recent British talent to emerge from the youth set-up, Danny Guthrie will play for Newcastle in this upcoming Premiership season. Other than that, Jay Spearing may play some part in Liverpool’s campaign. He won’t be turning Liverpool into Favourites to win premier league though.
The fact is that despite the millions spent on the academy, there has been little to show for it under foreign managers Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez.
With Roy Hodgson now at the helm, Premier League betting pundits note how it looks as though the future emphasis will be on home-grown youth. Wilson and Shelvey are both thought to have bright futures in the game. Wilson became the youngest Rangers player to play in the Champion’s League, when he started against Unirea Urziceni aged just 17.
There is a chance he may be loaned back to the Glasgow club as he looks to continue his development. Shelvey was the youngest player to pull on the Charlton shirt when he made his debut against Barnsley when he was just 17.
The box to box midfielder went on to make over 40 appearances for Charlton before Liverpool came in for him. Despite coming out this week saying he wants to make an instant impression in the first team, Shelvey will probably go out to the Championship on loan. The Liverpool faithful will be hoping they have some new home-grown heroes to bring success in the future.