Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold continues to star for Jurgen Klopp’s league leaders, the hometown hero the latest academy graduate to emerge from the ranks at Anfield and make a huge first-team impression.
Throughout the Premier League era we have seen several local lads and young stars graduate from the Reds youth system, and following the success of Alexander-Arnold in recent seasons we’ve decided to profile some of the very best.
Here are Liverpool’s five best academy graduates of the Premier League era…
The Toxteth-born forward had long been talked about within the academy ranks at Anfield, before introducing himself in some style whilst still a precocious teenage talent.
He would score on his debut during a League Cup first leg tie against Fulham, before truly announcing himself to English football with a five-goal haul in the return fixture whilst still an 18-year-old.
From there, Fowler would not stop scoring, hitting 12 goals in his first 13 appearances before netting over 30 goals in all competitions in each of his first three full seasons as a first-team player. Those prolific campaigns would see the youngster named as PFA Young Player of the Year in two consecutive seasons, helping the club to League Cup success in 1995.
Further silverware would come in the form of an FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup treble in 2001, Fowler leaving the club later that year for Leeds having scored 171 goals in 330 appearances.
Nicknamed ‘God’ by the adoring Anfield crowd, Fowler would return for a short second spell at the club in 2006, adding a further 12 goals to finish his Liverpool career with 183 goals – the sixth highest tally in the club’s history.
The one player born outside of Liverpool to feature in this list, Chester-born Owen would be another teenage forward who would burst onto the scene with explosive goalscoring exploits.
Like Fowler, a 17-year-old Owen would score on his debut against Wimbledon, before winning the Premier League’s Golden Boot in consecutive seasons during his first two full campaigns as a Liverpool player.
Owen’s peak would come during those usually formative years, his electric pace and ice-cold finishing making him a nightmarish prospect for even the finest defences.
Injuries would hamper his progress but he would enjoy a stunning 2000/01 season, scoring 24 goals in all competitions to help the Reds to a cup treble, memorably scoring twice to snatch a comeback victory against Arsenal in the FA Cup final.
That year would see the then 22-year-old crowned as the second youngest ever winner of the Ballon d’Or, the last English player to achieve the feat and the only Liverpool player in history to have won the award during their time on Merseyside.
He would leave the club for Real Madrid in 2004 after scoring 158 goals in all competitions, later joining Newcastle before damaging his reputation at Anfield somewhat with a move to bitter rivals Manchester United in 2009.
Despite publicly acknowledging his loyalties to the blue half of the city during his youth, there can be no denying the commitment to the cause that Jamie Carragher would bring during a first-team career in Liverpool red than would span almost two decades.
A utility player in his early career, Carragher would fill a variety of roles as the club claimed a cup treble success shortly after the turn of the millennium, before settling in central defence under Rafael Benitez and being a cornerstone of the side that would lift both the Champions League and FA Cup.
The defender would be a snarling on-field presence, full-blooded in his challenges and prepared to put his body on the line when needed for the shirt. Only the iconic Ian Callaghan has represented Liverpool on more occasions than Carragher, a player whose work ethic and desire helped him become one of the great defenders in the club’s long history.
A boyhood Liverpool supporter who would become the on pitch representation of every watching fan, Gerrard would make his debut in the late nineties before establishing himself as arguably the greatest player in the club’s history.
A complete midfielder, the Huyton-born star was capable of influencing the play all over the pitch, becoming one of the best players in Premier League history and possessing a ‘Roy of the Rovers’ style habit of rescuing his side when they needed it most.
The only player in history to have scored in each of the Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup finals, Gerrard would lift each of those honours during a glittering 17-year career at Anfield that delivered 710 appearances and 186 goals.
Captaining the side from the age of 23 until his departure over a decade later, few players are as respected on Merseyside as Gerrard, a player who perhaps allowed loyalty to prevent him achieving greater team success.
Liverpool’s latest success story is an academy graduate who continues to flourish as one of the finest attacking full-backs in world football, Alexander-Arnold having become an influential figure in the emergence of Jurgen Klopp’s winning machine and helping reinvent a once unfashionable position.
The 21-year-old is capable of dictating the play from his right-back role, combining sublime technique with both energy and maturity to become the Reds key creative threat. He would break the record for most assists in a single Premier League season by a defender last term, and is well on course to smash his own record with eight for the campaign already this time around.
No player in the Premier League has created more goals since the start of last season than Alexander-Arnold, the sole Scouser at the forefront of Liverpool’s charge towards an elusive league title.
Already a Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup winner, the youngster looks well on course to add a league title and further silverware to his growing collection in the coming seasons.
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