With the LFC Reserve season inching closer (first game is Monday), I'm going to get the blog warmed up for what will hopefully be a season of great success for our youngsters. Without further ado, I'll begin giving my take on Liverpool's three main strikers in the reserve team.
Michael Ngoo: Ngoo is one of those players that catches your attention every time he steps onto the pitch; at first because of his towering presence, but then because of his remarkable finishing and overall play. At the age of 19, this year is important as he tries to prove himself to be worthy of a future first-team spot. For Ngoo, the ability to be an absolute monster at the front of the attack is certainly there, but he must stay healthy and become more consistent. When he is in good form, Ngoo posseses a lethal combination of size, strength, and quickness on the ball. In a lot of ways he plays like a small player in a big mans body, and his excellent ability to finish chances in the box with his feet is a good example of that. With the strengths comes some weaknesses for the forward. Ngoo has a tendency to play too small and because of this will fade out of games occasionally, which doesn't translate well to the unforgiving and very physical Premier League. At this point I think his ceiling is a 8-10 goal scorer in the EPL, but he will only achieve this if he begins using his strength better amongst other small tweaks. So far Ngoo has played brilliantly in preseason matches so let's hope that the recent form is a sign of things to come.
Nathan Eccelston: In general, I'm not Eccelston's greatest fan, and he is getting to the age (21) where the results have to start showing up. Eccelston's greatest weakness may be his greatest strength, depending on your perspective. Critics would say that he doesn't do anything particularly well, but supporters could argue that he is just very well rounded and doesn't do anything particularly poorly. I think that there is an eventual first-team place for the hard-working forward who plays at his best in a passing system, although I imagine appearances will be limited to coming off the bench. If Eccelston can kick up the scoring a bit, then expect to see him on the first-team bench come March.
Adam Morgan: Perhaps the reserve forward with the most potential, 18 year old Adam Morgan is a goalscoring machine. When he was playing with the reserves last year, Morgan looked extremely comfortable and played very well in the NextGen series. Right now, I think that only an injury (knock on wood) would stop him from having a solid first full season with the reserves. Morgan is probably at least two seasons away from breaking through to the first team, although cameo appearances along the way are very possible.
Dani Pacheco: To be honest, I can't say that I am a Pacheco expert simply because he has been taking a tour of Europe in the last couple years through various loan spells. From what I have seen of him, he is a very creative player that has a chance to fit in well with Brendan Rodgers. This year he will spend a lot of time floating between the reserves and the first team this season, so he will have to take advantage of every opportunity that he is given.
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