Liverpool youngster Brooks Lennon outlines first-team ambitions

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The 18-year-old American forward broke into the Under-21 setup midway through the season after joining the club last summer.

After enjoying an encouraging first season at Anfield, Liverpool youngster Brooks Lennon has told American Soccer Now that he hopes to earn some first-team minutes for the club as soon as next season.

Lennon, 18, is regarded as one of the USA’s top attacking prospects and was on Liverpool’s radar for some time before joining the club last summer.

The pacey forward, who previously played for Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy, first linked up with the Reds in April 2013 after cancelling a trial at Aston Villa but work permit issues prevented him from making a permanent switch at the time.

Nevertheless, the Premier League club continued to bring him across the pond for brief training stints over the next two years before the US youth international was eventually able to secure an Irish passport by way of his grandparents, allowing him to complete his long-awaited move.

The Arizona native went on to star for the Under-18 side over the first half of the season before making his Under-21s debut in December and has since featured five times for Michael Beale’s side, recording one goal and an assist in the process.

He has even trained with the first-team at times over the course of the campaign and is now aiming to make his senior bow at some stage next season after seeing the likes of Cameron Brannagan, Connor Randall, Sheyi Ojo, Kevin Stewart, Pedro Chirivella and Ryan Kent all earn opportunities under Jurgen Klopp this term.

"My goal is to make the tour with the first team this summer,” Lennon told American Soccer Now. “But next year my goal is to be practicing with the first team every single day, being the leading scorer for the reserves, and obviously trying to make my first-team debut next season. I have some goals that are going to be tough to reach, but I am going to work hard to reach them.

“Next year I definitely think I can be a person who makes my debut. It's a great experience to train with the first team because they're great players. Pretty much everyone on the first team is someone that works really, really's humbling, but I'm definitely not a tourist when I'm there. I am trying to make a name for myself.”

A quick and skilful attacker, Lennon is comfortable operating either through the middle or out wide and has even drawn tentative comparisons to former Everton star Landon Donovan in the past.

The diminutive forward made his debut for the US Under-20s at last month’s Dallas Cup and has been tipped as a potential candidate for Jurgen Klinsmann’s 2018 World Cup squad given his clear promise.

Compatriot Marc Pelosi’s release from Liverpool last summer proved a harsh reminder that success at Anfield is no guarantee, but the former RSL prospect’s solid start to life in England at least serves as an encouraging sign going forward.

He may not be the only highly-rated American playing on Merseyside in the future either, as recent reports have suggested that Klopp has instructed his scouts to monitor Borussia Dortmund starlet Christian Pulisic with a view to making an approach for the teenage No. 10 further down the line [h/t Daily Mail].

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