Why Matteo Ritaccio’s new Liverpool deal would be good for the future
A report from Liverpool FC suggests that youngster Matteo Ritaccio has signed his first professional contract with the club.
Ritaccio joined Liverpool’s U18 squad from BW Gottschee last summer and has been a prominent member of the squad under manager Barry Lewtas.
The report also confirms that he was first spotted as a 13-year-old at a training camp for the US national team. Ritaccio also holds an Italian passport.
Ritaccio is a highly-rated youngster. Last season, he played 18 times for the Reds U18 team in the Premier League 2, in which they finished on equal points with champions Derby, who won by goal difference.
The 18-year-old was also a part of the squad that won the FA Youth Cup last season against Manchester City, after a dramatic penalty shootout.
Naturally a central midfielder, Ritaccio can play as a defensive midfielder and also on the left side of the midfield. The New York-born midfielder is known for his rough tackles and is considered to be a main player in Barry Lewtas’ squad.
He started the season for the U18 team in fine form and played 5 matches for them before an injury halted his progression. He is expected to return soon and continue for the team.
The teenager is known for his acceleration and dynamism on the pitch. With his qualities, he can run easily into the opponent’s box and score. He also has a knack of shooting from distance and a goal against Manchester United U18 from range is a proof of it.
At Liverpool, who are the defending European champions, it would not be possible for him to get a place in the starting line-up, but he can be developed into a fine player for the future.
Klopp, who has a bunch of technically-gifted players, can rely on Ritaccio’s level of work rate. Jordan Henderson and James Milner have done exceptionally well for the team in the past years and with them ageing, the youngster can be a great inclusion to the first-team.
The Reds manager would be hoping to add depth to the squad if any of his first-team members leave in the future and this is where Ritaccio can develop himself by taking part in the team’s training sessions.
There is another option too if Klopp decides that the 18-year-old needs to be playing more. Sending him on loan to clubs lower in the League or to the Championship teams would be ideal.
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A promising youngster, Ritaccio can be seen as one for the future and by signing his first professional deal, Ritaccio seems to have done the right thing for both himself and the team.
Having said this, it all depends upon the stability of the player to rise to the top and make a name for himself.