Some, like Curtis Jones and Rhys Williams, look like they will make themselves a part of the first team in the coming months – the former in particular is already an important member of the team – but this is not the case for every member of this group.
For Edvard Tagseth – who was inevitably referred to as the “new Martin Odegaard” when he arrived in Merseyside at the age of 16 – and the Liverpool U18 players of the 2017/18 season, it was a dream come true to be coached by the Reds’ legend, Steven Gerrard.
EXCLUSIVELY: Former Liverpool midfielder Edvard Tagseth, who left Anfield 12 months ago, about working with Steven Gerrard and why he preferred the Reds to a number of other European clubs
Now Tagseth is reaping the rewards of what Gerrard taught him at Rosenborg in the Norwegian top team, where he played from the start or from the bench in 22 of the 25 games this season, and has no doubt that the Rangers boss really helped develop him.
Tagseth, who wore the number eight jersey under Gerrard’s management, saw the number of midfielders who stood before him in the first team and in youth, and made the bold decision to leave just over a year ago, despite Liverpool offering him a new contract to stay.
“They are all great coaches at the academy and I had a good relationship with them, but the thing about Steven was that he was very demanding and knew what he wanted from the players – he expected a lot, even though we were only 16 or 17 years old.
At the last Academy show of Blood Red, he told the Echo: “It’s even crazier now when I look back [and remember being trained by Gerrard]. When you are there in that moment, in the year I had, it became more and more normal every day on the training ground and at the games.
“It was a really amazing experience and something I will never forget. It was an honor to have him as coach and everyone else thought the same.
“He was really good to me and from day one we had a really good relationship. He trusted me, and he makes you feel confident.”
“But what impressed me most was how humble he was off the field. He could take you aside, one-on-one, and talk to you – tell you what you need to improve and what you’re doing well.
Tagseth explained: “Even though I come from Norway, it felt like home. It feels very friendly there, and compared to Manchester City, it felt more like a rivalry where I was competing for a midfielder there, for example.
Ajax, Everton and the two Manchester clubs were among the teams that were interested in Tagseth when he moved to Anfield, but the Norwegian says there was only one option for him – and not just because he grew up as a Reds fan.
“In Liverpool I was right in the group and everyone made me feel good. It felt very right.”
Tagseth concluded: “I was looking forward to coming back to Norway, to being with my family and friends and of course playing football, so it’s been a good year and a half.
Now back in Norway, where Tagseth is already a regular and someone like Rosenborg, who was eliminated from the Europa League by PSV in qualifying this season, has high hopes for the future, the 19-year-old is happy to leave Merseyside, where a first-team chance was still a long way off.
If he continues to play regularly and develop as he is, Tagseth will have a great career. Given his good relationship with Gerrard, it may even be possible at some point to connect with his former boss.
“I have played a lot, especially this season, so I am very happy with what I am doing at the moment”.