Jurgen Klopp and Gary Neville may have just helped Liverpool secure first summer signing

Jurgen Klopp celebrates LIverpool's Carabao Cup final win. . (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)Jurgen Klopp celebrates LIverpool's Carabao Cup final win. . (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp celebrates LIverpool's Carabao Cup final win. . (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Liverpool are set to sign teenager Rio Ngumoha from Chelsea.

Todd Boehly must have been fuming as he watched a potential first piece of silverware of his ownership slip away.

Gary Neville dubbed Chelsea's players the 'billion-pound bottle jobs' after the Wembley defeat to a team that involved several rookies. In truth, it might have ultimately cost Mauricio Pochettino his job as head coach.

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And watching Liverpool triumph in the Carabao Cup final could have been the day that Rio Ngumoha decided that he would leave Stamford Bridge.

The 15-year-old attacking midfielder has decided to leave Chelsea and make the switch to the Reds. That is despite reportedly being not only one of the top prospects in the London side's Cobham academy but also in England for his age level.

Ngumoha has already played nine times for Chelsea's under-18s but featured for the under-21s in a 4-0 EFL Trophy win over Colchester United last season. What's more, he has trained with the Blues' first team.

Now, what is needed is for the youngster not to become overhyped, not for the spotlight to be on him that causes pressure straightaway. But Liverpool's recruit team may feel elated that they have managed to prise such a talent from not just the capital, but a fierce rival.

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Chelsea's academy dominated in the mid-2010s. They won the FA Youth Cup for five successive years and were beaten in the 2014 final. Reece James, Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher, Levi Colwill Callum Hudson-Odoi, Marc Guehi, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Trevoh Chalobah were all produced. Players such as Dujon Sterling, Jay Dasilva and Nathan Baxter have all gone on to have good careers elsewhere.

Yet the spending has been lavish spending at Chelsea since Boehly’s consortium purchased the club from Roman Abramovich two years ago. The Stamford Bridge side have paid substantial fees for Moises Caicedo, Endo Fernandez, Romeo Lavia, Cole Palmer, Mykhailo Mudryk, Wesley Fofana, Nicholas Jackson. Malo Gusto, Carney Chukwuemeka, Noni Madueke, Lesley Ugochukwu and most recently Omari Kellyman.

Players and parents alike in Chelsea's academy may be wondering how they break into the first team and the already lofty challenge is becoming more difficult. In fairness, James, Colwill and Gallagher are key players when fit. But looking ahead, it may be increasingly difficult to force a way through.

Ngumoha must feel it is the opposite at Liverpool. Certainly, if he was in the stands at Wembley for the Carabao Cup final, he would have got that impression.

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With the Reds bereft of players - with Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Darwin Nunez, Alisson Becker, Diogo Jota, Dominik Szoboszlai, Curtis Jones, Ryan Gravenberch, Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip all absent - Jurgen Klopp's squad was made up of a plethora of rookies.

Academy products Caoimhin Kelleher and Conor Bradley, who had only recently broken into the team after Alexander-Arnold's injury, started. Off the bench came Jarell Quansah, Bobby Clark, James McConnell and Jayden Danns. They all helped Liverpool pull off what felt like an impossible task in extra-time to claim the silverware. Lewis Koumas and Trey Nyoni - only 16 - were part of the celebrations at the national stadium as unused substitutes.

It was tangible evidence that there are opportunities for upcoming players at Anfield. Those who did not feature at Wembley included Ben Doak and Stefan Bajcetic because of injury. The pair are regarded as fully-fledged first-team squad members, with the latter starting against Real Madrid in the 2022-23 Champions League last-16 first leg.

Klopp's faith in the promising prospects got its full reward. In truth, Liverpool had no right to win the encounter. It's why it sparked such a scathing comment from Neville.

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Perhaps had Klopp opted not to take a gamble on the upcoming players in his squad then Ngumoha may not have chosen Anfield. Perhaps if Neville was not as ruthless in his assessment then it would not have amplified Liverpool’s achievement.

Klopp’s decision not only bore fruit to win him a seventh and final piece of silverware in the Liverpool hot seat, but may have subsequently secured a prodigious talent.

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