Former Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer believes Jurgen Klopp could field the Reds’ raft of youngsters in the Premier League once they have sealed the title – even at the expense of an unbeaten season.
Liverpool are 16 points clear with a game in hand and look set to deliver their first top-flight title since 1990, though while McAteer admitted one eye could be on lasting the campaign without defeat, he feels the manager will prioritise handing out valuable Premier League experience as soon as their place at the top is confirmed. Speaking on BeIN SPORTS, McAteer argued that is how Klopp would play it with plenty of other honours up for grabs this year.
He said: “[Going unbeaten] would be nice, but I think we’ve got some great kids coming through – Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, you’ve got Adam Lewis there, as well. I think Jurgen would love to give them some Premier League experience. So if we were to win the league [in the] middle of April, he would play the kids and he’d let them have a go.”
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While Klopp would perhaps be forgiven for fielding a strong side to see out what could be a historic league campaign (if it is not one already), with other irons in the fire, it could be that the Champions League or even the FA Cup will be higher on the priority list if they remain in those competitions by the time they are crowned champions.
That would create the perfect opportunity to try out their youth prospects, which have been used at times in domestic cup competitions this year. Considering the performances of some of those to be given first-team opportunities, Klopp may have every reason to think it will be worth risking Liverpool’s unbeaten streak if the likes of Jones and Elliott, for example, can replicate their displays in the cup competitions in the Premier League.
Although it may harm their chances of a near-perfect campaign, such an approach could yet represent Liverpool’s best chance of securing a maximum of three more trophies in 2019/20.
Liverpool fans, would you risk an unbeaten season to hand the kids some Premier League game time? Share your thoughts below!
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