Daniel Trickett-Smith has only been at Liverpool since the summer of 2011 but he’s already making quite an impact.
If Liverpool mean what they say in terms of sticking to their break even business model and socialist contract structure, it means Brendan Rodgers will have to start giving more and more youth players an upgrade to the first team.
Daniel Trickett-Smith is one such player and the 17-year-old scored a beast of a goal in the 4-1 win against the Sunderland Under-18 side which should have grabbed Rodgers’ attention if he didn’t already have it.
Trickett-Smith signed for Liverpool from Crewe, the side with arguably the best academy in the football league which also produced Nick Powell who made a big money move to Manchester United.
Liverpool valued him so highly that they shelled out £300,000 to make sure Crewe didn’t offload him to any other team.
The reason this lad could be the next teenager to break through at Liverpool is not just his versatility but his quality in any position he plays.
He’s an attacking midfielder at heart, the sort of player who likes to pick the ball up, run at a defence and give defenders nightmares. Think Steven Gerrard when he was a teenager and still had half a yard of pace.
More significantly for Liverpool, he’s a player who can slot in just behind a main striker and play in the hole.
This is very important because it would enable Rodgers to stick with one up top in Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez or Fabio Borini because Trickett-Smith is the sort of player who can drop back into a five man midfield.
His record in academy appearances this season is solid; 13 games, 13 starts and five goals. These are not spectacular figures but he is still a very young man and a very raw player, and more than adequate for a midfielder.
The way Liverpool have structured themselves financially means the end of them paying £35 million for an Andy Carroll. They could still do it but they won’t risk not breaking even or over spending.
Brendan Rodgers is a very clever manager who knows how and when to blood young players and this lad is definitely in the small group he’ll be looking at, as he considers who will be his next Raheem Sterling.
Liverpool fans, what are your views on Trickett-Smith's prospects?
image: © Vincent Teeuwen