Liverpool youth did not rise to the challenge, and that's okay

A youthful Reds side was defeated in the Europa League
UEFA Europa Europa League 2023/24Royale Union Saint-Gilloise v Liverpool FC
UEFA Europa Europa League 2023/24Royale Union Saint-Gilloise v Liverpool FC / ANP/GettyImages

Jurgen Klopp took advantage of Liverpool securing top spot in their Europa League group with a game to spare by fielding a very young squad for the final match of group play.

Ben Doak, Luke Chambers, Jarrell Quansah and Conor Bradley led the youth charge. Ideally, you would be looking for the side captained by Curtis Jones to rise to the challenge and play on the front foot.

As it turned out, there was not much cutting edge to this Liverpool side that saw them dominate possession but not do much with it. They also proved vulnerable to the counterattack from Union Saint-Gilloise.

Playing away from home in any European competition is no easy challenge for the even the most experienced teams.

Klopp will surely use this as a learning tool for the youngsters throughout the squad as he continues to meld the future shape of this club. There were some bright spots such as Quansah scoring his first goal for the senior team.

I myself expected more from someone like Ben Doak. His usual directness and confidence on the ball was not present in certain moments. He can never be faulted for a lack of self-belief in himself, but sometimes perhaps taking a step back and using his teammates can become a focus.

Bradley should be seen as the next understudy that Trent Alexander-Arnold has been sorely missing. Trent plays a lot and having someone getting valuable match-time will only benefit him going forward as the club tries to keep him fit.

While the first reaction of most fans and pundits is to describe a mostly toothless Liverpool side that did not come to play.

However, I am going to take a positive spin on things and assume that the lads will use this experience to better themselves going forward.

Of course, I wanted them to play better and get the win. That would be even better for the confidence of the young men. Yet, you typically learn more in defeat than you do in victory.

So while a youthful Liverpool team couldn't get the job done this time, hopefully they will use this to make sure they take advantage the next time they're called upon.