Liverpool may have dream Georginio Wijnaldum replacement in Leighton Clarkson
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could fill the void left by Georginio Wijnaldum this summer by looking to their famous youth academy and midfielder Leighton Clarkson.
The 19-year-old, who has been training with the first-team, has been tipped to have a future in the senior side by Liverpool U23s boss Barry Lewtas this week.
Lewtas was particularly impressed with Clarkson following his side’s 2-2 draw with Leicester, which was made all the more impressive by red cards for Morgan Boyes and Tyler Morton.
With his performance being described as that of a senior player, Klopp and his coaching staff could bring Clarkson back to the fold after he made his Champions League debut earlier this season.
Speaking to the ECHO following the draw with Leicester, Lewtas said: ”Leighton can do [the defensive role] but he also has a knack of getting higher up.
"He got the goal against Blackburn and was good again today, and he defended the goal really well. He is another player who showed more maturity and you can see the work up with the first team in training.
"You can see that work today and he played like a senior player.
"It wasn't a typical Leighton Clarkson performance but he showed another side to his game and that is something we have been talking about for a long time now. When I reflect on it, he will be one who I will be really pleased with."
“Leighton is one of the biggest talents in our club, he’s been there for ages. He’s a midfielder, a number six type, can play eight as well," said Klopp in December.
“He’s a very talented, good football-playing boy. In Germany there’s a famous player who played similar to him, you might have to go back a little bit longer, I don’t want to put pressure on the boy.
“But he reminds me a lot of him. He’s just a good footballer, a smart footballer, fast, physically strong. If you see his legs they are not like 19-year-old boy legs, they are already grown.
“I’m really happy to give him that opportunity because he deserves it.”
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Clarkson said of his own style last year: “I’d say I'm quite a technical player.
“I like to pass the ball, I like to get on the ball all the time, I'm always looking to play my mates in. I'd say I can play a variety of the midfield positions.
“I can play as a No.6, a No.8 or as a No.10. I played as a No.10 when I was 15 and playing in the U16s and scored quite a lot of goals. Then I started to move back a little bit.”
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- Liverpool FC
- Jurgen Klopp
- Premier League
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