Home News Liverpool add 17-year-old centre-back to Europa League squad

Liverpool add 17-year-old centre-back to Europa League squad

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Liverpool have added another academy player to their Europa League squad ahead of their second-leg meeting with Sparta Prague at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side are 90 minutes away from securing their place in another European quarter-final, and a strong, but rotated side is expected on Thursday evening.

And ahead of the fixture, UEFA have now confirmed that 17-year-old centre-back Carter Pinnington is the latest youngster to be registered in the Europa League via list B.

The rules state clubs can register an unlimited number of players aged 21 or under outside of their initial Europa League squad (list A), provided they have been on the books for two or more years.

It is why the likes of Trey Nyoni, 16, or Amara Nallo, 17, cannot be included despite training with the first-team, as they did on Wednesday afternoon.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 1, 2023: Liverpool players line-up before the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Crystal Palace FC Under-21's and Liverpool's Under-21's at the Crystal Palace Training Ground. (L-R) Captain Tom Hill, goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga, Paul Glatzel, Terence Miles, Lewis Koumas, Luke Chambers, James McConnell, Amara Nallo, Carter Pinnington, Bobby Clark, Mateusz Musialowski. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Pinnington was not involved in first-team training throughout the week, but he has now been added to the squad as Liverpool head into their match with only three senior centre-backs.

With Ibrahima Konate still unavailable and Joel Matip out for the season, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Jarell Quansah will need to share the load at the heart of defence.

Considering Pinnington has not been part of the first-team preparations, he is likely just viewed as emergency cover should the need arise prior to kick-off.

Pinnington has been on Liverpool’s books since under-7s level and is currently playing above his level as a first-choice starter for the U21s, making him the next-most senior option for Klopp.

He is readily partnered with Nallo at centre-back by Barry Lewtas, with the pair fast-tracked due to the belief in their respective abilities.

Pinnington is a versatile young player, capable of also occupying the No. 6 role, and offers a commanding presence at the back.

It seems unlikely the 17-year-old will be named in the matchday squad against Sparta Prague, but Klopp can name 12 substitutes and stranger things have happened this season.