One to watch: Liverpool coach raves about 20-year-old academy midfielder Matty Virtue

Andros Townsend of Tottenham Hotspur is challenged by Matthew Virtue-Thick of Liverpool during the Barclays U21 Premier League match between Liverpool U21 and Tottenham Hotspur U21 at...

Matty Virtue is impressing for Liverpool's under-23 side this season.

Andros Townsend of Tottenham Hotspur is challenged by Matthew Virtue-Thick of Liverpool during the Barclays U21 Premier League match between Liverpool U21 and Tottenham Hotspur U21 at...

Liverpool might have spent £40 million to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but another midfielder is making an impression in the academy.

20-year-old talent Matty Virtue has been praised by coach Neil Critchley for an 'outstanding' start to the season for the under-23s.

Virtue has a big queue ahead of him to get into the Reds first team, and at 20 time is not on his side either. Fortunately he is making a strong impression.

Joe Williams of Everton holds off Matty Virtue of Liverpool during the Premier League 2 match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on May 8, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

Critchley told the club website: "I must give a mention to Matty Virtue, who has been outstanding for us this season in midfield. He is going from strength to strength and he was driving the team forward at Arsenal and constantly getting into the box.

"He is a great example to all of our younger players around him. If you put the hours in, if you practise and you are dedicated to your profession then you can improve and you will improve.

"He is a great role model for the boys. I thought Matty had a good 2016-17 season and he has started where he left off, and hopefully he can keep doing that and he may surprise one or two people I think."

Head coach Juergen Klopp of FC Liverpool attends the Audi Cup 2017 Press Conference at Westin Grand Hotel on July 31, 2017 in Munich, Germany.

Virtue will hope that first team manager Jurgen Klopp will take notice of Critchley's comments.

In two weeks on September 19, Liverpool face Leicester in the Carabao Cup third round and Klopp is likely to rotate his squad and hand chances to younger players.

At present Virtue is doing all he can to get into contention for such a role, and if he gets a chance he will be determined to seize it.

 

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