Sunderland simply cannot afford to lose another promising young starlet and must rebuff Liverpool’s interest – opinion

Sunderland opinion: Black Cats have to keep Harrison Jones at the club

The Shields Gazette has reported that Liverpool are targeting Sunderland youth starlet Harrison Jones as the Reds prepare for the future. Currently leading the Premier League, Jurgen Klopp has turned towards the future and started looking for long-term starlets to make a difference.

Liverpool has a brilliant youth system, with the likes of Connor Randall, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Woodburn, Curtis Jones, Rafa Camacho, Ki-Jana Hoever and a few others flourishing. This gives them an upper hand when it comes to recruiting young stars both now and in the future.

However, if there is one thing that a club like Sunderland cannot afford to lose, it’s their youth talent and especially now. Currently in the League One, the Black Cats are on their way up and have a chance to do great things if they make it to the Championship. Being in the League One has seen the club give chances to their youth players.

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This includes the likes of Bali Mumba, Josh Maja, Denver Hume, George Honeyman and a few others shining under manager Jack Ross. The Sunderland boss has grown a reputation for helping the younger generation flourish under him, and that has been on show this season.

But given Sunderland’s striker situation, losing a player like Harrison Jones so young, will be a blow. Despite being only 14 years old, Jones has shown a lot of promise, doing relatively well with the U16s and the U14s for Sunderland.

Surprisingly quick off the mark, Jones uses his size and speed to great effect in front of goal. That has seen him flourish as a centre-forward for Sunderland’s youth sides. Furthermore, for a U14 player, the young forward is mature beyond his years.

It has shown time after time, with Harrison Jones doing well as the lone forward, even earning a call-up to the England U15s. Sunderland already lost Josh Maja to Bordeaux in the January window and they cannot lose yet another youth starlet in the near future.

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The Black Cats need to make the most out of their youth team given that they do not have the transfer budget as compared to other clubs in England. They’ve already lost Luca Stephenson last season to Liverpool, which will be a massive blow given how well the 15-year-old is playing.

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Sunderland cannot afford to lose any more youth prospects. While they may not be the most prestigious club in the world, the Blacks Cats can offer a better path to first-team football. This is something the club must use to convince their youngsters to stay at the club before moving on to bigger things in the future.