Lauri Dalla Valle

According to the Times. This was news to me, as the last I heard Chelsea had offered €1.5m for him and his dad was keen for him to play in (and for) Italy. He’s only just started playing with JIPPO’s senior squad, and it’d be nice for him to get a chance to play a season in Karelia.

If he doesn’t, and he ends up in England, I sincerely hope he does an Enzo Maresca and leaves whichever EPL club ends up shovelling money at him as soon as he is contractually allowed. It can’t be good that players leave this early, for this much money.

John Cofie is now financially secure at the age of 15. Not many people can deal with that, even when they’re twice his age, it will take an extraordinarily level headed guy to keep working hard enough to make it in the big time.

Liverpool have won the FA Youth Cup two years in a row now, and this indicates they must be doing something right, but then results are not everything in player development. It remains to be seen how many of those players will make it through into the Liverpool first team, which is the acid test of a youth policy. It doesn’t matter how much fantastic coaching you get if the manager goes out and spends 10m pounds on Dirk Kuyt rather than giving you a chance (it may all be part of Rafa’s plan, of course, that signing crap players will only serve to lift the pressure on his youngsters and make them look good in comparison).

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