Liverpool are reportedly in talks with Sunderland over the potential exit of an academy player who has struggled to make the first-team breakthrough.
The Reds have a productive academy setup, which they have bolstered with additions from other clubs in recent years. Under Jurgen Klopp, several of those players have gone on to feature in the first team. The manager has sometimes used cup competitions to give a platform to the younger prospects available to him.
For example, when Klopp’s senior side were on Club World Cup duty in December 2019, he entrusted Neil Critchley’s under-23s to represent the club in a League Cup tie against Aston Villa. Among the players to feature that day who have since made progress were Caoimhin Kelleher and Harvey Elliott.
But one member of that lineup who has not enjoyed as many opportunities at senior level since then is Tony Gallacher.
The Glaswegian left-back joined Liverpool from Falkirk in January 2018. At the time, he had also been linked with Barcelona and Manchester United. But despite the scramble for his services, Gallacher has not progressed into Klopp’s thinking on a more regular basis.
He spent part of last season on loan in the MLS with Toronto FC. Canadian travel restrictions scuppered his chances of building up continuity and he has been back with Liverpool since the turn of the calendar year.
The 21-year-old needs to find more opportunities elsewhere if he wants to rediscover the promise he was showing in Scotland. Therefore, he is now considering another move away from Anfield.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Sunderland have made contact over the potential signing of Gallacher. The League One side would like to take him on loan, although there is a possibility of a permanent deal.
Sunderland want to strengthen in defence for the upcoming season and Gallacher could help them.
The report says he is likely to leave Liverpool either way and several other academy players may follow. The club think some of those players – including Gallacher – would be better off leaving permanently, but they will take things into consideration.
Long-awaited Liverpool exit done
Another academy graduate who will be leaving Liverpool is Harry Wilson, whose move to Fulham has been confirmed.
For several seasons, Liverpool have been heavily linked with sanctioning the permanent exit of Welsh winger Harry Wilson. The 24-year-old has spent time out on loan in five of the last six seasons. He impressed during his spells with Derby, Bournemouth and Cardiff.
That led to the club placing a £20m valuation on his head, though a suitor could not be found at the price.
Now, Liverpool and Klopp have finally relented after Fulham have confirmed the double signing of Wilson and former Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga.
Wilson has signed a five-year deal with the Cottagers after completing the formalities of his reported £12million switch.
He made only two senior appearances at Liverpool after coming through their youth system. Loan spells elsewhere have given him more opportunities. In addition, he has 29 Wales caps and made three substitute appearances at Euro 2020 this summer.