Liverpool are close to seeing former Red Jay Spearing make his return to the club in a dual role as player and coach for the academy, a trend that is growing more prominent.
The Reds’ summer recruitment extends beyond mammoth £85 million deals and bidding farewell to club legends, as the academy is also receiving plenty of injection of talent.
Highly-rated Ben Doak, for example, has been landed from Celtic as Liverpool’s youth drive continues in the post-Brexit world.
But they’ve now looked to a veteran former player in Spearing for a role that will see him combine game time for the under-23s with a coaching role.
According to the Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe, Liverpool are “close to signing” the 33-year-old to “play in their under-23s side,” and also see him “assist in coaching” the younger age groups.
Academy youth director Alex Inglethorpe has initiated the move, allowing for Liverpool’s young players to have direct contact with an experienced professional who played 55 games for the Reds.
Spearing left Liverpool in 2013 after rising through the ranks at the academy having joined in 2004 as a 16-year-old, and now is to rejoin the club after a two-year stint with Tranmere.
The 33-year-old is not a new face at the club’s academy in recent years having pursued a coaching career alongside his playing endeavours, which saw him make 35 appearances for Tranmere last season.
His arrival at the academy could also pave the way for a number of loan moves to be agreed for those that are ready to take the next step away from youth football.
How many games he plays for the U23s remains to be seen, but it’s a role that will be welcomed by many as Spearing makes a return to where it all started for him in 2004.
Man United signed former Hull centre-back Paul McShane last year in a similar initiative, although the 36-year-old did not go on to make an appearance for the U23s.