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Ben Doak sends Arthur Melo reminder as Liverpool get brilliant 2023/24 promise



Liverpool kicked off their Premier League 2 campaign with a resounding 7-1 win over Leicester City on Saturday afternoon at The Academy.

Goals from Bobby Clark and Ben Doak either side of Chituru Odunze’s own goal in the first half gave the young Reds a healthy 3–1 half-time lead, before goals from Billy Koumetio, Max Woltman and Layton Stewart contributed to the youngster’s second Shot in the match. to take Barry Lewtas’ side to third in the league table.

Arthur’s softness

Shortly after 1pm on Saturday afternoon, there was a sense of surprise as team fiches were handed out at The AXA Training Center and Arthur Melo was confirmed in the Liverpool Under-21 line-up for the second time this season.

In fact, it was in the reverse between the sides in September that the Brazilian first dropped back to Lewtas’ side to make up for a pre-season deficit at both Juventus and Liverpool. And after missing nearly five months of action due to a thigh injury, it was a welcome sight to see the 26-year-old back on the pitch this weekend. Alongside dynamic midfielders Clark and Dominic Corness in the center of the park, Arthur played 90 casual minutes of action at Kirkby. With former Newcastle United Academy starlet Clark as Lewtas-appointed linebreaker and tasked with constantly scanning runs from Doak and Harvey Blair to either side, the Juventus mercenary was on hand to efficiently launder possession.

It must be said that Arthur’s lack of game clarity was significant at times, as team-mate Doak bluntly observed midway through the first half when the midfielder failed to clear the 17-year-old down the left.

Sources were quick to point out that Arthur’s Premier League 2 appearances this season have all been at his expense and not something Jurgen Klopp or anyone in his coaching staff has forced upon the Brazilian. Saturday’s fixture was seen as the perfect opportunity for Arthur to enter the next stage of his rehabilitation, as the match kicked off in Kirkby just hours before Klopp’s side took on South London’s Crystal Palace, meaning that the midfielder could follow the same training. regime like the rest of his first-team teammates. While he is ineligible for the UEFA Youth League match against Porto on Wednesday night, it seems unlikely the Brazilian will line up for Lewtas’ Under-21 squad when he travels to Arsenal on Monday.

Arthur himself hopes he can put a difficult season behind him and play a part in the Reds’ Champions League run by the end of the season. But with Klopp having all of his options in senior midfield, it’s fair to say the Brazilian will be looking for a future outside Anfield in the unlikely event that he gets a chance to impress in the weeks and months ahead.

a minor muscle injury and then his return to the U21s against Chelsea last weekend, the prodigy really announced his return against the Foxes on Saturday afternoon.

The Scotsman, who signed from Celtic for £600,000 last summer, enjoyed his most prolific performance of the season as he netted two goals and three assists for Letwas’ side, and was unfortunate not to get the ball after the second Reds game. The goal of the match saw his shot over goalkeeper Odunze’s head before he slipped over the line. For Doak, however, this outing underscored the exceptional mentality and attitude he brings to every football game he plays, regardless of the opponent or the age group he is playing for. The 17-year-old, who made his first-team debut for Liverpool in November’s win over Derby County and has since featured four more times for Klopp’s side, still shows incredible commitment when he is called by Lewtas.

While Doak is likely to miss out on further first-team opportunities until the end of the season, the 2023/24 season promises to be an exciting season for the young Scotsman.

Better Layt Than Never

Given the emphatic nature of the goal, it was no surprise that manager Lewtas was in high spirits immediately after the final whistle.

Liverpool Under-21s not only scored five or more goals for the second time this season in Premier League 2, but also welcomed top scorer Stewart back from injury. The Liverpool-born striker got his first run-out since picking up an injury during the mid-season training camp in Dubai, just weeks after making his first-team debut against Derby County. opening shot inside Lee Jonas’ defense-breaking pass gave it overtime.

The return of the shooter and Blair, who started in his first game since returning from his short break, has already shown signs of easing the goal-scoring burden he has placed on Mateusz Musiałowski since the turn of the year.

Those absences saw the Poland youth international tasked with leading the line in a false nine and as a result the young Reds had scored just three goals in their last 540 minutes of Premier League 2 action up until Saturday afternoon.

The return of Stewart and Blair, and of Oakley Cannonier in the coming weeks, will significantly boost the young Reds’ chances of finishing the season strong as they look to beat Chelsea and Manchester City.