Liverpool Daily – Academy excites Borrell as Suarez says farewell to Ajax

Following a 10 day period which saw Liverpool’s academy players making more headlines than that of the senior team, the former’s Coach, Rodolfo Borrell, yesterday emphasised how excited he is by the emerging talent, and also how the current manager Kenny Dalglish is the ideal man to help them fulfil their unrefined potential.

The Spaniard felt very proud last week, not only by guiding the U18s to score 13 goals in two games, but also with the news of senior call-ups for four members of his squad. Captain Conor Coady, John Flanagan, Jack Robinson and the thrilling prospect that is 16-year-old Raheem Sterling all accompanied the Europa League squad for last week’s tie. Although none of them clocked up any minutes in Czech capital stalemate, Borrell believes such trips will only have a positive impact on their careers.

Since Kenny Dalglish was awarded his temporary role he has vowed to give youth players a chance to grow and Borrell, who made a big impact in his 13 years with Barcelona, says giving them opportunities to be part of the first team squad is imperative. “I think we have some really exciting players coming through and I am very proud that some of them were involved in the build-up to the match against Sparta Prague.” He said. “Everyone is looking to ensure this club has a bright future and giving these players the chance to experience a European occasion on foreign soil is massive.

He also said Dalglish has got an almost ‘encyclopaedic knowledge’ of the abundant personnel seeping through the academy. His time spent with the youth set-up as club ambassador – whilst Rafael Benitez was still in charge – gave him a head start in both spotting and helping to nurture future luminaries. “I don’t think there is another manager in the world that knows the youth set-up of his club better than the gaffer, and his status as the greatest ever Liverpool player instantly commands respect,” Borrell said. “And it is yet another reason why he is the perfect choice to help our youngsters make the step up to first-team level.

Elsewhere, and as the first XI had domestic respite this weekend, Luis Suarez yesterday made an unconventional match day return to bear an emotional farewell to both his former Ajax teammates and fans. The players formed a guard of honour whilst applauding him onto the pitch with a highlights reel of his best goals for the Eredivisie club broadcasting over the stadium screen. The supporters then closed proceedings with a rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ for the Uruguayan.

In an age where footballer’s loyalty is continually questioned by overpowering financial clout this was a generous farewell for the new Reds’ No 7 who concluded by posting on his new, official twitter account: “Yesterday was an unforgettable day. I can only thank you guys for such wonderful years with you all. Thank you Ajax!

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