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Klopp targets 20 academy players in Liverpool squad

SoccerNews in English Premier League 8 Aug 2016

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Jurgen Klopp has optimistically targeted having 20 academy products in Liverpool’s first team.

Despite being in charge at Anfield for less than a year, the German has already earned a reputation for giving opportunities to young players, with a number of debutants and relative newcomers used in the Premier League last season.

And Klopp has continued that trend into pre-season, with more youngsters involved, but he does not intend to stop there.

“Last season we had [Sheyi] Ojo, [Cameron] Brannagan, [Connor] Randall, [Brad] Smith, [Kevin] Stewart and [Pedro] Chirivella who played in real games for the first team,” he told the Liverpool Echo.

“We’ve had Ben Woodburn, Ovie Ejaria and Trent [Alexander-Arnold] playing for us in the friendly games. Shamal George has been in a good way too.

“That’s eight or nine. What do we want? We want 20 of this quality. It’s a big number of players. We have to create better situations to make them better.”

Klopp’s lofty ambitions do not necessarily require changes at Liverpool, though, with the manager praising the existing youth set-up.

“The academy has done well to bring them to this level,” he said. “I don’t know whether we could have done it better, but I know that they’ve done a good job.

“We have to keep working on the things we can make better but that doesn’t mean changing people.”

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