If you’re a young player at one of the biggest clubs in the world, it’s very hard to make a breakthrough into the first team.
You might get the odd game in one of the domestic cups, or a few minutes at the end of a league game if you’re lucky.
The under-23 team can help a player develop to a point, but they need to be playing senior football in order to prove they’re truly ready for life in the professional game.
Most teams have a fleet of players out on loan in the lower leagues or overseas, and Liverpool are no exception.
It can be hard to keep track of how they’re all getting on, so here’s a round-up of how the Reds’ on-loan talent has been performing in 2020/21.
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Anderson Arroyo, Salamanca
The Colombian full-back is currently plying his trade in the third tier of Spanish football. However, he has only made it to the bench for one league match, and has yet to make his debut for the club.
Taiwo Awoniyi, Union Berlin
The 23-year-old forward has made five Bundesliga appearances so far this season, but has yet to score or assist a goal. His pace should ensure he gets further chances –he was recently clockedas the fastest player in his side’s win over Hoffenheim – and his new manager was impressed with his debut.
“He was on the road, was able to secure the balls so that we could continue the game, was active in the duels and always presented himself”,said Urs Fischer after a 1-1 draw at Borussia Monchengladbach .
Morgan Boyes, Fleetwood Town
Centre-back Boyes hasn’t featured too heavily so far for Fleetwood. Manager Joey Barton selected him for two league games and a Carabao Cup tie with Everton, but the 19-year-old hasn’t featured since the first week of October.And Barton has recently admittedhe’s finding it hard to fit all of his players in the match day squad on a regular basis.
Boyes has actually been playing more at international level , with four appearances for Wales’ under-21 side in 2020/21.
Harvey Elliott, Blackburn
Despite being one of Liverpool’s youngest loanees, Elliott has arguably been the most successful this season. He has made six appearances in the Championship, scoring one goal and assisting a further three, and is the only 17-year-old to appear at that level for any team in 2020/21.
Blackburn’s manager Tony Mowbray has been impressed with Elliott. “You can see the quality of the kid. It’s amazing to think he is so young. We are delighted we have him. He’s a really refreshing and nice lad to work with,”he said .
Tony Gallacher, Toronto FC
Gallacher had been getting regular game time in the MLS before the season concluded earlier this month. He made nine appearances for Toronto, with the highlight being his assist for an equaliser against Philadelphia Union.
Speaking earlier this year , Toronto’s general manager Ali Curtis hinted the club might make Gallacher’s move a permanent one, stating "at the end of the year if there’s a strong enough relationship with the club and player, we'll have a conversation about what the future looks like.”
Kamil Grabara, AGF Aarhus
Grabara set sail for Denmark this season, and has made five appearances for Aarhus, who are currently third in the Superliga table. He has so far kept one clean sheet and conceded four goals.
However, he also scored an own goal in a recent cup game (though Aathus eventually won the tie on penalties). “It was huge mistakes that usually never happen, but it happened today and that is what happens. That was what made it difficult for us,”said manager David Nielsen after the game .
Marko Grujic, Porto
Grujic was one of Jurgen Klopp’s first signings for Liverpool, but has rarely featured for the first team since. His latest loan move has taken him to Portugal. His opportunities have so far been limited, but he has made two appearances in both Liga NOS and the Champions League.
“Technically, he is very capable, plays short and long passes but he has to improve in the occupation of space with and without the ball. He needs time.”That’s the opinion of Porto manager Sergio Conceicao , so Grujic may have to wait for further opportunities.
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Loris Karius, Union Berlin
Whatever else he achieves in the game, Karius will always be remembered for his mistakes in the 2018 Champions League final. And he doesn’t look likely to get his career back on track in Berlin, as he has yet to make an appearance since his loan move.
However, the club’s number one has welcomed the competition. “It doesn’t make me worse when I know Loris is behind me, rather better,”said Andreas Luthe .
Adam Lewis, Amiens
Lewis can currently be found in the second tier of French football with Amiens. The 21-year-old left-back has made six starts and nine appearances overall for the side who are currently 15th in the league table.
His place is far from guaranteed though as he faces competition from Sanasi Sy, and Amiens’ manager Oswald Tanchotrecently made clearhe doesn’t have a favourite between the two. “They are two totally different profiles and they both have to work to strengthen their strengths and erase their weaknesses," he said.
Sheyi Ojo, Cardiff
After loan moves in England, France and Scotland over the years, Ojo is now based in Wales. He’s a regular for Neil Harris too, having scored twice and set up another goal in 11 Championship appearances.
The Bluebirds’ manager recently praised Ojoby saying “his counter-attacking ability and his ability to dribble are excellent, and he’s unpredictable.”
Harry Wilson, Cardiff
Ojo isn’t alone in south Wales, as Harry Wilson is also on loan from Liverpool at Cardiff. The 23-year-old Welsh international has also scored two Championship goals this season, and from just four starts.According to Harris , Wilson has been a “breath of fresh air.”
"Harry creates chances, has great free-kick deliveries, great corners and he gets lots of shots off,” added the City manager.
Ben Woodburn, Blackpool
Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer will be with Blackpool until 17 January, but has had little chance to show what he can do so far. Woodburn has made three appearances in League One, but wasn’t in the squad for the previous two matches after testing positive for Covid-19.
For his part, Woodburn is willing to stay at Blackpool once his current deal expires,as he explained last month . “I’d definitely be open to staying longer, though. I’ve enjoyed my first couple of days so I don’t see why not, especially if we’re doing well – then I’d love to stay,” he said.
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