Liverpool coach Gary O’Neil names ‘amazing’ under-23s star fans should watch out for

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Liverpool Under-23 coach Gary O’Neil believes there is another player in the club’s academy ready to break into Jurgen Klopp’s senior set-up. The former Portsmouth midfielder has been a part of the coaching staff at Kirkby since before the start of the season.

And in that short time, he has seen a number of youngsters promoted into the first team with Klopp unafraid to give academy stars a chance.

The likes of Curtis Jones, Rhys Williams and Caoimhin Kelleher have all started games this season, as the Reds look to retain their Premier League crown.

And O’Neil believes it won’t be long before Owen Beck becomes the latest off the production line at Merseyside.

The left-back is enjoying an impressive season, with his most recent outing seeing him register three assists in a 403 defeat to Tottenham.

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And despite not having the stature of a senior player, O’Neil believes he has all the qualities to thrive at the next level.

“Owen Beck is an amazing one. He’s a young boy, he’s very small,” O’Neil told talkSPORT.

“He’s been underdeveloped the whole way through, so he’s always been the smallest in his age group, one of the youngest.

“He’s played every game for us at Under-23 level this season and has done some training sessions with the first-team.

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“So to see things like that going on, some of the pleasure the academy staff must get from it, because I know it’s their job to develop players, but some of them go beyond that.

“Some of the staff, they’re there on a Tuesday night working with these kids in the rain when they’re 13.

“People are saying, ‘he’s a bit small’, but these guys are there putting the work in. Now you see the benefits of it.”

Beck will be hoping to follow Jones’ lead, who put in Man of the Match display against Tottenham earlier this month.

“Curtis Jones is unbelievable, isn’t he? He’s gone into the first-team and made it look so easy,” O’Neil added.

“He’s been absolutely fantastic. He’s a great kid as well. He still comes down and watches the Under-23s when his schedule allows him. He’s still fantastic with all the boys.

“To see Rhys go up and play centre-half with the injuries they’ve had… centre-half is an extremely difficult position to play when you’re young.

“You see most of the boys in that position are experienced. Rhys has done fantastically well.”

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