Liverpool have received a major boost to their academy and they have not had to spend a penny.
Blackpool achieved promotion to the Championship at the weekend after beating Lincoln in the play-off final.
After so many years of troublesome ruling under the Oyston’s, it has been a season to remember for Pool fans.
And taking them back into the second tier for the first time since 2015 is Neil Critchley.
An up-and-coming young coach who has earned many plaudits along the way, the 42-year-old has a big future in management.
He learned his trade with Liverpool, where he first manage the Under-18s in 2013 for four years before becoming the Under-23s boss in 2017 for three seasons.
Many have noted his fantastic ability to coach youngsters which has helped the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones and Rhys Williams become first-team stars.
And now the Tangerine Army are in the Championship, Critchley can cash in his goodwill at Anfield and bring some of their top youngsters to the club.
It is a win-win for both teams – Blackpool get some top talents to help them survive while Liverpool’s youngsters get valuable experience in an extremely competitive league.
For many in recent years, the Championship has made some of the best kids coming through today.
Chelsea have used the division expertly – with Mason Mount and Reece James now Champions League-winning stars after becoming key players with Derby and Wigan respectively.
Liverpool have also utilised it, with Rhian Brewster and Harry Wilson recent examples but there is one player that stands out more than anyone – Harvey Elliott.
Despite only just turning 18, the forward has been exceptional for Blackburn – playing 41 times in the league, grabbing seven goals and 11 assists in the process.
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The Chertsey-born ace has a huge future in the game and could even be part of the Liverpool set-up next year after wowing coaches.
If all Liverpool youngsters out on loan performed half as well as Elliott has this year, the club would be extremely pleased.
And with Critchley at Blackpool, the Reds have the perfect chance to continue the development of their budding starlets with a man they know will do an exceptional job.
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