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Liverpool academy chief Inglethorpe: We must bring through Scouse talent

Liverpool academy director Alex Inglethorpe says it's critical they bring through more local talent.

Since Steven Gerrard's debut, in 1998, only one Merseyside-based player has broken through to make more than 50 league appearances for the Reds. And that player, Martin Kelly, was sold to Crystal Palace last month.

"Liverpool has always been synonymous with having local lads coming through," Inglethorpe told the Liverpool Echo.

"Whether that's a Michael Owen, a Robbie Fowler, a Steven Gerrard or a Jamie Carragher, that bloodline has always been there.

"We will always look to recruit the best, both from England and from abroad. But we also don't want to forget what's under our noses.

"The supporters will always identify with a player who shares the same characteristics as themselves, and it is important that we don't lose that link into the local community.

"It's hard, because the landscape is different now. Some of the biggest clubs in the world are within half an hour of us, so obviously it is more competitive when it comes to recruiting young lads.

"But I do think there is a huge attraction for a lad from Liverpool, or Merseyside should I say, to play for his local team. I think there is a pull for most of the boys, it's their dream to go and play at Anfield, and we shouldn't lose sight of that.

"Of course it's difficult for a young local lad to break through, but that goes for any player. They are trying now to break into what will always be an international XI.

"But for us, it's a challenge worth taking on. I know one thing; I would hate to think of a club without a strong link into its community."

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