Liverpool have given under-23 captain Corey Whelan a new contract after several impressive performances this term. The Reds U-23 side are top of the Premier League 2, and Whelan has been a major part of the team’s success.
The right-back is only 20-years old, and many believe he could be give a chance in Jurgen Klopp’s senior side after the New Year. However, Whelan is currently playing a vital role in the U-23 team’s form. The side are six points ahead of second place Leicester after 11 matches.
Whelan joined Liverpool’s U-10 team from Crewe Alexandra 10 years ago. He has since risen through the ranks at the club’s academy.
The Republic of Ireland youth international is extremely versatile, and can play at right-back, centre-back or in midfield. Perhaps, Liverpool’s look for a quality centre-back could be done internally, and Whelan could be given the chance in central defence with the senior side.
In an interview with the ECHO, Whelan spoke about his versatility and the importance of getting on the pitch with the U-23 team.
“If you can play a number of positions it helps you moving forward in your career whether at Liverpool or as a loan anywhere else across the country,” he said. “It’s something managers do look at and value.
“I’m becoming more and more confident getting forward. It”s something we work on in training. It’s something the manager at first team likes, having runners, so we tend to train it a lot down here (at Kirkby) so it’s not too dissimilar to what we’re doing when we go up there.”
Whelan has tallied one goal and an assist for the reserve league side this season. He has played in all 11 of the team’s matches so far.
In March 2017, Whelan made his Republic of Ireland U-21 debut in a 1-0 win over Kosovo. He has since appeared five times for the Ireland’s U-21 team.
Should Jurgen Klopp debut Corey Whelan and use the youngster to help sort out his centre-back woes?