Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli is relishing the prospect of watching the club’s youngsters test themselves in the NextGen Series, The Liverpool Echo reports.
The Reds begin their tournament when they take on Sporting Lisbon tonight at Anfield. Comolli believes that the Champions League-esque tournament gives the Under 19s more experience and allows them to go up against some of the best European young talent.
Comolli said: “I think we were the first club to sign up, because we think it is important for the development of players. It’s important for them to face a different type of football, to play in big stadiums and to take the players out of their comfort zone of always facing the same teams and type of football.”
“We know we can compete with the best in England, because we’ve got a top academy, but now let’s see how we compete with the best on the continent. It’s a competition European football was lacking,” the Liverpool director of football added.
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Flanagan hopes for further opportunities.
Liverpool full-back John Flanagan is hoping he can get more first team opportunities at Anfield and continue to further his career, The Liverpool Daily Post reports.
The 18-year-old’s form in the reserves last season was rewarded with a first team debut against Manchester City in April. His form was so good, he played the last seven appearances of the season and earned a new four year contract. Now, after his start against Sunderland in the Premier League opener last weekend, Flanagan is hoping he can keep improving and keep getting chances.
Flanagan said: “I just want to continue improving. There are areas where I need to get better such as going forward and crossing. I need to work on everything. With lads like Glen (Johnson) and Martin (Kelly), there is plenty of competition in the squad.”
“That’s always good to have. It means if you do get in the team, you have to take the chance. Martin is only a few years older than me. He came in last season and did brilliantly. He showed exactly how to grab an opportunity,” the 18-year-old added.
Norwich sign Ayala.
Norwich City have completed the signing of Liverpool defender Daniel Ayala for an undisclosed fee, according to Sky Sports.
The Premier League new boys have fought off the interest of Swansea and Championship side Hull to land the Spaniard. Ayala only made five first team appearances in his time at Liverpool since joining the club from Spanish side Sevilla in 2007. The 20-year-old impressed during loan spells in the Championship with Hull and Derby and that has resulted in a transfer to Paul Lambert’s Norwich.
A statement on the Liverpool website said: “Liverpool have confirmed Daniel Ayala has completed his transfer to Norwich City.” Ayala is Norwich’s eighth signing of the summer and is expected to go straight into the weekend’s clash with Stoke.
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