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Jurgen Klopp's cup-winning kids: Who are Bobby Clark, Jayden Danns, Conor Bradley, James McConnell & Jarell Quansah?

By BBC
Football News Left to right Jarrell Quansah, Andy Robertson, Jayden Danns, Bobby Clark and Caoimhin Kelleher celebrate Sunday's EFL Cup win over Chelsea at Wembley
FEB 27, 2024 LISTEN
(Left to right) Jarrell Quansah, Andy Robertson, Jayden Danns, Bobby Clark and Caoimhin Kelleher celebrate Sunday's EFL Cup win over Chelsea at Wembley

After Liverpool beat Chelsea to win the Carabao Cup on Sunday it was 'Jurgen Klopp's kids' who captured the headlines, with the average age of his team under 22 at the final whistle.

Conor Bradley (20) started at right-back and with the match running into extra time, Bobby Clark (19), Jayden Danns (18), James McConnell (19) and Jarell Quansah (21) were all brought on to offer fresh legs and lift the Reds to a late win.

BBC Sport gets to know a little bit more about Liverpool's young stars.

  • Bobby Clark, 19, midfielder

Talented midfielder Clark is the son of former Premier League winger Lee Clark, who played for Newcastle, Sunderland and Fulham in the 1990s and 2000s.

The 19-year-old joined Liverpool from Newcastle in 2021 and previously trained with Birmingham City between 2012-14 when his dad was manager.

Clark is a versatile attacking player, who can play across the forward line and in midfield - scoring 13 goals with Liverpool's under-18s in his first season.

He got his senior debut with Klopp's team in a 9-0 win over Bournemouth in August 2022, and has featured recently in Premier League wins against Chelsea, Luton and Burnley, as well as coming off the bench during an EFL Cup semi-final win over Fulham and an FA Cup third-round win against Arsenal.

Clark's dad Lee told BBC Radio 5 Live that Klopp has "total belief" in his young players, and it did not surprise him "at all" to see his son in the squad.

Clark senior added that Klopp will leave a behind a squad of "terrific" young players who can be successful for "many, many years".

Clark featured in BBC Sport's Wonderkids series in 2020, when he revealed his favourite skill was the double L-turn.

  • Conor Bradley, 20, right-back

Bradley has been the most talked-about young player of Liverpool's 2023-24 campaign.

The 20-year-old right-back was called up to deputise for vice-captain Trent Alexander-Arnold when the latter picked up an injury in January, and his performances since have given Klopp a selection dilemma.

He made his Premier League debut in a 4-0 win over Bournemouth in January and scored his first senior goal in 4-1 win over Chelsea when he was named man of the match. Bradley missed out on Premier League games against Arsenal and Burnley after his father died. In his 12 appearances for Liverpool, he has scored one goal and assisted five.

The full-back was involved throughout Sunday's Wembley win, before being subbed off late in the second half. Bradley is the first Northern Irishman to win a major trophy for Liverpool in 101 years - the last being Belfast-born goalkeeper Elisha Scott, who won two league titles in the early 1920s.

  • Jayden Danns, 18, forward

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Jayden Danns is the latest Liverpool-born product from the club's academy

Another scouser to follow in the footsteps of Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones, Danns joined Liverpool's academy aged eight and made his first senior appearance in a recent 4-1 win over Luton Town.

The 18-year-old can play in midfield or attack and has started quickly in the senior team. Against Luton, he helped set up a goal for Harvey Elliott a minute after being introduced. In Sunday's final, Danns was narrowly denied a headed goal by Chelsea keeper Djordje Petrovic after coming on in the 87th minute.

He is the son of former footballer Neil Danns, and following Liverpool's win over Luton, manager Rob Edwards told Klopp: "I played with his dad!"

Danns' breakthrough into Liverpool's first team this season follows an impressive campaign with the under-18s, scoring 10 goals during 2022-23.

Even Everton supporter Tony Bellew is a fan, writing on X on Sunday: "Just turned 18yrs old and your second game is a cup final! Jayden Danns you little star - go and win it for them young king."

  • James McConnell, 19, midfielder

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James McConnell provides another option for Jurgen Klopp in the number six role

McConnell joined Liverpool from Sunderland in 2019. After debuting for the under-18s as an under-16 player in 2020, the midfielder went on to captain the under-21s this season.

He was brought into the senior squad this season against Brentford, Toulouse and Union SG, before getting his first start in a 5-2 win against Norwich in the FA Cup fourth round. Deputising for Alexis Mac Allister, 19-year-old McConnell got an assist for Liverpool's first goal in that match.

The youngster began as an attacking midfielder when he joined Liverpool, but has been adapted into a number six.

Speaking to Liverpool in November, McConnell said he has been "learning from players like Dominik Szoboszlai, the younger ones like Curtis and Harvey" who have given him "great support and help".

  • Jarell Quansah, 21, centre-back

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Jarell Quansah stepped up to give vital defensive support for Liverpool this season in the absence of Joel Matip

Quansah joined Liverpool's academy aged eight and captained the under-18s.

After a loan at Bristol Rovers last season, the Warrington-born centre-back has become a regular starter for Liverpool this campaign. In absence of Joel Matip, he has made 20 appearances, including five in Liverpool's six EFL Cup games.

Before the final, he told Liverpool's website that his rise has been, "crazy", saying: "I've just been told that a year ago on [the day of] the final I'd just played against Oxford City away for Bristol Rovers in League One."

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