Liverpool should consider sending Bobby Duncan out on loan
According to the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool have turned down a loan approach from Fiorentina for academy starlet Bobby Duncan, with the report suggesting that the Reds are neither looking to loan out nor sell the highly-rated 18-year-old this summer.
As per the report, Fiorentina contacted Liverpool Academy Director Alex Inglethorpe to negotiate an initial loan deal for Duncan, with an option to buy clause included in the agreement.
However, Liverpool are in no mood to alter their stance and the club’s youth coaches seemingly believe it would be better for the teenager to continue his development in the youth ranks at Anfield.
Fiorentina, though, aren’t the only club to have been credited with an interest in Duncan, with the Liverpool Echo suggesting that the 18-year-old was also the subject of interest from Danish giants FC Nordsjaelland earlier in the summer, albeit the Danes were only looking to sign him on a season-long loan deal.
Liverpool are adamant that Duncan, who joined from rivals Man City last summer, has a big long-term future at Anfield, given his eye-watering form for the club’s U18 side in the previous campaign.
The teenager plundered as many as 25 goals at the U-18 level, forming a feared strike partnership with fellow academy product Paul Glatzel. His prolific form for the youth sides earned him a call-up to the senior ranks for the pre-season friendlies, where he scored a goal against Tranmere Rovers.
Additionally, the youngster was also involved in Liverpool’s FA Youth Cup triumph last season, which was the Reds’ first victory in the competition since 2007.
Duncan’s application, attitude and eagerness to learn has increased his regard among the club’s youth coaches.
To put things into perspective, it seems highly unlikely that Duncan would play any role at the senior level for Liverpool this term, given the intense competition for places in Klopp’s ranks.
Liverpool’s stance of keeping him at the club doesn’t look justified, simply because his chances of playing first-team football in the next couple of seasons look very bleak.
If Duncan is to realise his full potential and have a future with Liverpool in the Premier League, the Reds need to channelise his development in such a manner that Duncan would get enough top-level exposure to hone his skills in a competitive environment.
He is currently playing in the Premier League 2 but that isn’t anywhere close to the level of the Premier League.
Indeed, Duncan is still very young and a loan spell in unfamiliar surroundings could thwart his progress but he needs to be given a real taste of senior football, nevertheless.
A loan spell in League One or in the Championship would allow Liverpool to monitor his development closely. Either way, they somehow need to make sure that he plays regularly no matter wherever they think it is best for him to continue his development.
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Duncan has already made a mark for England at U16, U17 and U18 levels and he is definitely a player with a bright future.
As for now, a loan spell elsewhere looks like the best step forward in the young striker’s development curve.