Three Liverpool youngsters to watch out for ahead of Premier League 2 playoffs

The Liverpool U21s will play host to the Crystal Palace U21s on Sunday, May 5th, in the Premier League 2 playoffs. Who could be standout candidates for the Reds?
Jayden Danns, Liverpool
Jayden Danns, Liverpool / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

The Premier League 2 season has concluded for the Liverpool U21s, who finished eighth in the league table with ten wins, three draws and seven losses in 20 matches. With a new structure in place for the league, 16 teams qualified for the Premier League 2 playoffs. The Reds will face Crystal Palace on May 5th at the Liverpool Training Centre in Kirkby for their first-round match.

With a pool of players jumping between the U18s, U21s and the senior team, the U21s have not necessarily had a consistent squad throughout the season. However, heading into their playoff match against Crystal Palace; there are some players fans should watch out for to be top performers.

Jayden Danns (2006) - Centre-Forward / Winger

A familiar name to many Liverpool fans, Jayden Danns, a 2006-born forward, has made four senior appearances this season. Danns is the son of former professional footballer Neil Danns, who is originally from Liverpool and spent time in the academy.

Currently the captain of the England U18s, Danns has been a standout academy player for Liverpool this campaign. He originally started with the U18s to begin this season, but after scoring nine goals in nine games, his graduation to the U21s came quickly.

On February 21st, 2024, Danns made his Liverpool senior debut against Luton Town in the Premier League, coming on as a late substitute in a 4-1 win. Later in February, Danns and multiple other Liverpool youngsters came on as substitutes late in the EFL Cup final against Chelsea, helping the Reds lift the silverware.

Just days later, Jayden Danns bagged a brace, which included his first senior goal, in Liverpool's FA Cup tie against Southampton at Anfield. The English centre-forward continued to remain with the first team before returning to the U21s for the end of the season and now is pencilled in for a start against the Crystal Palace U21s.

If the academy Reds are to go far in the Premier League 2 playoffs, Danns will likely be a key factor, breaking in behind the opposition's defence and having the ability to score free-kick goals in his locker.

Lewis Koumas (2005) - Left Winger

Joining Danns in the attack will be Lewis Koumas, who signed his first professional contract with Liverpool in January of this year. Originally from Tranmere Rovers' academy, Koumas switched to Liverpool's at a young age. Born and raised in England, Lewis plays within the Welsh youth setup as he is eligible through his Welsh father, Jason, a former professional footballer, earning 34 caps for Wales.

Like Danns, Koumas quickly stepped up from the U18s to the U21s this season. Koumas also scored his first senior goal for the club against Southampton in the FA Cup, owning the game-winning goal in the match.

While positionally playing out wide, Koumas often cuts in to shoot on his strong right foot. The Welsh attacker is more of a goal-scorer than a playmaker. Koumas scored eight goals in 13 Premier League 2 matches this season and can be an influential player against Crystal Palace.

Amara Nallo (2006) - Centre-Back

Amara Nallo has become a key piece in the U21s backline, which allowed just 27 goals to be conceded in 20 matches, the lowest in the Premier League 2. Nallo joined the Liverpool academy setup last summer from West Ham and has quickly established himself as a prominent academy prospect for the Reds.

Nallo is described as a mobile defender who, despite being quick and agile, is also physically strong. He is also described as having exceptional passing with both of his feet.

While likely a little ways away from a senior debut, Nallo has trained with the first team this season and featured on the bench for the Reds in a Premier League fixture against Manchester City on March 10th.

In 11 of the last 13 games he's been available for at the U21 level, Nallo has started and played the full 90 minutes, showcasing the belief of head coach Barry Lewtas that the 17-year-old centre-half is a top player for the academy. On May 5th, Nallo will anchor the backline against a talented Crystal Palace side.

Should the Liverpool U21s advance to the next round past the South Londoners, they will face Aston Villa or Tottenham Hotspur next.