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Harvey Blair profiled – Ex-Man Utd prodigy making name for himself at Liverpool

Young forward, Blair, 18, is expected to be involved in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup round-of-16 clash against Preston on Wednesday after impressing in the club’s youth ranks

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Liverpool front line compared to ‘raptors’ by assistant

Liverpool have had decent success with fielding academy graduates in recent seasons.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold a fully-fledged international and the likes of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Neco Williams and Caoimhin Kelleher all involved in first-team duties, Jurgen Klopp is making full use of the youth system at Kirkby.

Beyond the senior side, a number of youngsters are also working hard to impress and force their way into Klopp’s plans, with another set for his debut on Wednesday.

Teenager Harvey Blair is one of an exclusive group of players to cross the divide between arch rivals Manchester United and Liverpool.

Here is the lowdown on the Reds’ latest prodigy.

Who is Harvey Blair?



Harvey Blair is in line to make his Liverpool debut after impressing in the academy
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Image:

Liverpool FC via Getty Images)






Blair operates as a forward and favours cutting in from the left
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Image:

Liverpool FC via Getty Images)




Which of Liverpool’s youth stars are you most excited by? Have your say in the comments.

A forward by trade, the recently-turned 18-year-old has been catching the eye for Liverpool’s youth sides.

Both in Huddersfield, Blair was previously on the books of Man Utd before switching to join Liverpool aged 12.

Most often seen on the left flank, though comfortable through the middle, Blair is highly thought of around Anfield and signed his first professional contract with the club last October.

“Hard work continues,” Blair wrote on Instagram after penning the agreement.









Blair has been performing for the U18 side this season and boasts electric pace, as well as the handy knack of knowing where the goal is.

Having scored in the league clash with Sunderland at the start of this month, Blair followed that up with the winner against Aston Villa in the Premier League Cup a fortnight later.

He got on the end of Luke Chambers’ free-kick to head home the crucial clincher in the 63rd minute, with U18s boss Marc Bridge-Wilkinson admitting post-match “it was great to see Harvey on the scoresheet again for us.”

When will he make his debut?



The 18-year-old scored in successive games this month
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Image:

Liverpool FC via Getty Images)




Klopp is renowned for rotating his squad for the Carabao Cup, and Wednesday’s tie with Championship side Preston North End could be the ideal opportunity for the Reds’ boss to get a better look at Blair close up.

The youngster is expected to be named in the starting XI for the round-of-16 meeting at Deepdale.

Liverpool’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders took charge of media duties this week in the lead-up to the clash but remained tight-lipped over their team selection, despite hinting there could be a few surprise inclusions from the academy.

Asked who would be featuring, Lijnders told reporters: “I wish I could tell you but it would not be smart to tell you the lineup. I cannot speak about it.

“Our Academy is constantly producing new players. Every international break we get to see them so we know what we have. They make an impact in training.

“We give these young players opportunities. And these young players never let you down.”

Can he break into Klopp’s plans?







As things stand it would be unlikely we see Blair line up for Liverpool’s first team on a regular basis – but who knows if that could change going forward.

He certainly won’t be thrown into the deep end before he is ready, as Klopp’s careful consideration regarding the development of young players has so often proved.

There are a number of promising talents currently pushing for a place in Klopp’s squad, including the likes of Kaide Gordon, so there is plenty of competition for attention – but a solid debut for Blair would certainly help his case.







Liverpool’s front three are all approaching their thirties and there is persistent clamour for Klopp to add back-up for Mohamed Salah and co.

Given the swift journeys of Elliott and Jones into the senior set-up, there are opportunities for the club’s academy pupils to put themselves in the mix, which may convince the club to keep their chequebook in the drawer if they can give one of their prospects a chance.

As Lijnders explained this week: “Young players need positive training and games, that’s how it is. It helps when there are a lot of models around you, good players to show you the way.

“We’re educating a new generation of players. Our seniors accept and develop them. That’s what I like in our club.”


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