Liverpool release 16 year old £1m buy and do him a massive favour
Liverpool football club have produced some top homegrown players in their time. That being said, they've always liked a shopping trip down to Crewe who seem to breed their 'type' of player. One 16 year old that cost them £1m has now reached a crossroads in his Anfield life.
As a 16 year-old Daniel Trickett-Smith was developing nicely at Crewe Alexandra. However, as his ‘potential’ was being monitored by big spending Manchester City, getting another Premier League club interested wouldn’t take long. A deal for the teenager was done when Liverpool jumped in with a £1 million package for the club that produces young players at a respected rate.
Normally the fee terms could be seen as high but considering Wayne Rooney went for £30m not much after his mid-teens it’s a gamble worth taking in modern football.
By all accounts we’ve been told Trickett-Smith is just a normal lad with a love for the game, as most youngsters are. A transfer fee like this does create its own issues though. Innocent potential quickly turns to confirmed expectation. Training sessions carry a different edge. If you stay in the same age group there will be peer pressure as to ‘why him?’.
If the introduction is straight into the 1st team squad then sometimes the step can be that bit too big, which can knock a young player's confidence.
Trickett-Smith was initially seen as an attacking midfielder/loose forward, positions that are occupied at Anfield by English Adam Lallana (cost £25m) with Brazilians Philippe Coutinho (cost £8.5m) & Roberto Firmino (cost £29m).
So, as you can see, if the £1m Trickett-Smith gamble paid-off, Liverpool would’ve saved a fortune on a future No.10.
Jordon Ibe, Jordan Rossiter & Jerome Sinclair (a target for Watford) played in the same 2013 Liverpool youth side that reached the semi - finals losing out to Chelsea, all three have played in the 1st team.
Nigel de Jong - Promising talent need to be focused for 1st team challenge
Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney all stars at an early age. They jumped from junior football to first team starter months after leaving school. This can be exciting but as LA Galaxy star Nigel De Jong explains, young players have to be ready.
The thing is, Liverpool have done him a massive favour. ‘Cruel to be kind’ Although a string of impressive performances for the U21’s can be viewed as good, if the 1st team is miles away, it doesn’t count for much.
We know of instances where players at big Prem or even Championship sides hit 20+ and are yet to get a sniff of 1st team action, happy to ride it out. Clubs will keep them on if to put out development/reserve sides or even just to test the next patch of talented school leavers coming into the club. Some players at 21 or 22 will still seek comfort with the association of the club and a steady income that even development football brings.
The down side is, there are youngsters in the lower leagues and even non league (Jamie Vardy for example) playing real competitive games week in and week out.
This is proven to be more valuable than development football
Because there are only 20 teams in the English Premier League, looking beyond it for a career in the full-time game makes sense. Non-league football is so well run and offers a route into the top flight. This ex-pro & former international explains how you can easily take advantage of this opportunity.
So for Daniel Trickett-Smith, now 20, it makes perfect sense for him to probably step away and find a place where he’ll play games that matter. His talent obvious, now needs to be tested for real. The good thing is, he WILL get a club, on the face of it this next move is even bigger than what brought him to Anfield.
This move won't be an investment in money but one of character Rickie Lambert was shown the door as a kid at Liverpool but went on to dominate the lower leagues becoming an international, eventually returning to his boyhood club.
Football business is about making or saving money (beyond playing the game), if that means buying the best at a great cost to be the best so be it. It of course could mean buying cheap and early to either sell or save in the future.
Clubs will always take ‘that’ chance and the players will always take ‘that’ opportunity. Some you win, some you lose only the player's next move will determine by how much.