It wasn’t just the force of the mighty Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge – famously known as the SAS force – that contributed to Liverpool’s successful season. Liverpool’s young talent was immense this past season with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho and Jon Flanagan contributing significantly in matches.
Raheem Sterling has been the stand-out amongst the young talent with his creativity and ability to create chances to score goals. With 9 goals and 5 assists, Sterling has gone from strength to strength throughout this recently finished 2013/2014 EPL season. He has been a surprise to most with his performances due to the tactical awareness he gained throughout his time with the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and because of the chances and goals he creates being direct and quick, which makes him good on the counter attack. Also being hailed as “one of the best in Europe” by Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard, Sterling will to live up to the billing in the upcoming World Cup and EPL season.
“His performances this season have been sensational,” Gerrard said. “He’s here because he deserves it. He showed unbelievable consistency for his age this season and he’s proved to be not just one of the best players in our country but one of the best players in Europe on his form.”
Jon Flanagan has been another hit among the young players. With only a goal and an assist this previous season, his defending has been praiseworthy- as well as being called the “Red Cafu” by the great Cafu himself. The importance he has shown in defence makes it hard to imagine the starting line-up without him. Playing with the typical Scouse passion for the sport and adjusting perfectly to Rodgers’ style of playing, he does what he can to win the ball. With an elegance of passing, he passes the ball either to create assists or to maintain possession. Liverpool and their fans will only hope that he maintains the reputation of being heralded as the Red Cafu.
For me Jordan Henderson is the lungs of the team. His presence in the team has been very crucial and significant. With 4 goals and 7 assists at the end of the season, the stats say a lot about his importance to the team. With 38 starts out of 43, the percentage of wins with him this season has been 71%, while without, 20%. As helpful as Jordan Henderson has been to Liverpool, England fans will hope he’ll be as helpful to England in the World Cup in Brazil.
Philippe Coutinho, with 5 goals and 7 assists, proved his importance in the match against Manchester City at Anfield when he scored the crucial winning goal in the 78th minute – making it one of the most memorable moments of the season for Liverpool. That goal resulted in Liverpool’s 3-2 win over City and kept their title hopes alive. Coutinho is smart and has the beautiful football skills of a typical Brazilian and undoubtedly can flourish for Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers by helping the team to more victories.
Brendan Rodgers is someone who appreciates young talent and tries making use of it as best as he can. Liverpool have a good bunch of future prospects with the likes of Jordon Ibe, Andre Wisdom, Suso and Joao Carlos Teixeira on the sidelines. These four starlets have shown great potential to be in the starting team – and going by the way they’ve been playing, it won’t be a surprise if they have a lot of appearances for Liverpool in the upcoming 2014/2015 season.