Liverpool have high hopes for Glatzel
Liverpool teenager Paul Glatzel has signed a long-term contract with the club but is he capable of making the leap into the first-team?
Glatzel is certainly highly rated at Anfield and it easy to see why, as he grabbed an impressive 28 goals for Liverpool’s under-18s last season, including finishing as the top scorer in the FA Youth Cup – a competition the Reds won after beating Manchester City in the final.
The 18-year-old has also scored at under-23 level, while he featured for Jurgen Klopp’s first-team during pre-season, although he picked up a knee injury during a match against Tranmere that required surgery and he is currently working his way back to full fitness.
A clinical finisher 👌⚽️
We’re looking forward to more of these from Glatzel 🤩 pic.twitter.com/RiQxC8o0ki
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 11, 2019
However, the fact he has been handed a new contract while on the treatment table shows how highly rated Glatzel is on Merseyside, but he is not the only academy product bidding to become the next Michael Owen or Robbie Fowler at Liverpool.
Indeed, Owen is probably the last academy forward to establish himself in the Reds first-team and his breakthrough came over 20 years ago.
Many have shown promise since then, but have failed to make significant inroads at first-team level, with Neil Mellor arguably coming closest during the mid-2000s, as he even scored a famous Champions League goal against Olympiacos, but his spell in the limelight was fleeting and he left for Preston in 2006.
There are a number of young pretenders in the current squad, although at 19 years old, Ben Woodburn’s hopes of making the breakthrough already seem over, as he is currently on loan at League One Oxford where he is not exactly pulling up trees.
Rhian Brewster is perhaps on the verge of at least getting a chance to prove his worth.
The 19-year-old, who was the star of England’s Under-17 World Cup victory in 2017, has had to deal with a number of injury problems that has disrupted his development and he is yet to make his first-team debut, although he is highly thought of by Klopp.
Of course, it is not easy for any youngster to get a chance in the final third for Liverpool, given the Reds arguably have the best attacking trio in the world in Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
One man that didn’t fancy sitting around and waiting for an opportunity to present itself is Bobby Duncan, with the 18-year-old having left for Fiorentina during the summer in search of more first-team chances.
Duncan’s departure could well have moved Glatzel up the pecking order on Merseyside and his new-long term contract is likely to give him the security he needs to build towards the first-team.
Glatzel has represented both Germany and England at youth level, which further underlines his credentials, although he still has a long way to go if he is to become the next Owen or Fowler, rather than being the latest highly-rated prospect to fall off the conveyor belt.