Steve McManaman Drops Honest Advice for Liverpool Youngsters on How to Thrive at Anfield After Jurgen Klopp Departure

Steve McManaman has a storied history, having risen through the ranks of the Liverpool academy, making 364 appearances for the club before moving on to become a key player at Real Madrid and later joining Manchester City. Now, McManaman is offering advice to the promising young talents emerging within Liverpool’s first team.

Jurgen Klopp’s squad has faced challenges in recent times, leading to increased reliance on the club’s esteemed youth academy. Players like Bobby Clark, Jayden Danns, and James McConnell have particularly shone when called upon, showcasing the depth of talent within the ranks.

Among the emerging talents, Conor Bradley and Jarell Quansah have also made significant strides this season. Klopp’s faith in these young players has paid off, with many demonstrating their ability to perform under pressure in crucial moments and high-profile matches.

As Liverpool’s iconic figure, Steve McManaman, who now works with the club’s academy in an advisory capacity, emphasises the importance of proving themselves to future management teams. He suggests that the ultimate challenge for these youngsters will be to convince incoming leadership that they have what it takes to secure a lasting place in the club’s future plans.

“Keep on working hard and listen to your peers,’ he tells Mail Sport when asked what his main line of advice would be to the young stars. ‘Listen to those in control. Listen to Barry Lewtas (Under 21 manager) and Jay Spearing.

“Jay (an overage player for the Under 21s who is also the assistant manager) has played this game and will train with them and kick them, he’s had more than 300 games in league football. Of course listen to Jurgen Klopp as well.

“But it starts again when the new staff come in. You will have to start afresh and impress the new staff. Keep on learning, keep on working hard, ask the first-team players question after question.

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“Copy the first-team players. When you train with them, look at what Mo Salah does for example, take his good points out, “How do you do that? Why do you do that?” And then copy him! That’s all you can do and you will come better.

“Work hard, keep your feet on the ground. Forget about playing two games for Liverpool. Come back when you’ve played 100 times! But because of the high-profile games they’ve played in, they’ve been absolutely excellent.

“It’s lovely to talk about. They’ve been given an opportunity and all grasped that, and made themselves really proud. So I have nothing but praise for them. To lift a trophy at Wembley, to play against Southampton in the FA Cup, brilliant.

“Now they will be taken out again and get back out of the limelight – that’ll do them the world of good. Get them learning and working hard again. But they’re ready to come again when needed.

“Liverpool have always had a culture of bringing through academy players. If you go back to when I played, we had Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher, Dominic Matteo, many more.

“There’s always been good players knocking around. Even those who haven’t made it have been sold for decent money. The main thing for the academy is to ensure a career in football for them per se, even if it’s not at Liverpool.

“Look at Tyler Morton and Fabio Carvalho on loan at Hull, Luke Chambers at Wigan, if they were here they would have their opportunity too. But the kids embraced their chance and took it, the most important thing is taking that chance with both hands which they’ve done.”

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McManaman consistently collaborates with the academy, participating in training sessions and attending select youth matches. During the recent FA Youth Cup loss to Leeds, the ex-winger provided continuous input to Under 18s manager Marc Bridge-Wilkinson throughout the match, offering his valued perspective.

“I go to the training ground, run around, try to keep up with them, I’m there for advice and help,’ he adds. ‘If I can give them half a per cent of what I know to help them or make them better, that’s all I want to do. If I can advise Bridgey and Co in any way with different opinions.

“Out of all the kids we’ve seen, the one who has made the most headlines Jayden Danns is on the lowest rung of the ladder. Just three weeks ago he was with the Under 18s, then jumped up to the 21s because they needed him, then jumped to the first team.

“He’s been great, got his opportunity in the final and also came on against Nottingham Forest when they needed the goal. He’s a talented boy, lovely finisher, can beat a man. He’s a Scouser as well, always has things to say, I love Jayden.

“As long as he keeps his feet on the ground, which he will do because we’ll be telling him to, he’ll be fine. And the same for all of them. Just keep working hard, listen to your coaches, and they will be fine.”

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