AcademyLuca Stephenson: I’ll play anywhere - but I’m loving being back in midfield
Luca Stephenson has spoken of his gratitude to U21s head coach Barry Lewtas for giving him an extended run in his favoured position.
The 19-year-old, who arrived as an U15 player from Sunderland, is renowned for his great attitude, spirit and desire on the field.
Stephenson was a key performer in midfield alongside Tyler Morton when the U18s reached the FA Youth Cup final in 2021, and is now a regular part of the U21s squad.
Lewtas’ charges head to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday night in Premier League 2, with the game being staged at Kidderminster Harriers’ Aggborough Stadium.
Kick-off is at 7pm GMT and you can watch the game live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO.
After featuring at full-back in the first few months of the season, Stephenson has found himself being back in the middle of the engine room for the U21s, where he is eager to impress.
“I will play anywhere I’m needed for the team, I’ll go in goal if they needed me!" Stephenson told Liverpoolfc.com.
“At the start of the season I was playing at right-back and centre-back, and I will always do that for the good of the team.
Highlights: Liverpool U21s 0-1 Crystal Palace
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“Obviously midfield is my preferred position and I’m loving it at the minute.
“The coach has given me the opportunity to play in midfield, which I’m really grateful to him for, and I’m really having a good run.
“I’ve played from mid-October constantly all the way through and the more chances I get, the more I can impress people.
“I’ll do a job anywhere to help this team. I’m competitive, I want to win and help the team, which is the main thing.”
Liverpool U21s are aiming to get back to winning ways in Premier League 2 after a tough start to 2023 in the division.
A 10-game unbeaten run came to an end in the loss to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month, and since then narrow defeats to Manchester United and Crystal Palace have followed.
“It was so frustrating because I thought performance-wise we were more than good enough to get something out of all those games,” Stephenson added.
“But inside both boxes is what has hurt us really, because possession-wise we were good enough to at least get a point and we created enough chances to score.
“That’s where games are won and lost really, and inside both boxes we have to admit we didn’t do enough.
“As a team we are getting into good positions but then it’s about that cutting edge, that final pass and finish.
“We have got good quality players but maybe that decision-making when it comes to the last pass is missing at the minute. But we are working hard, we will stick together and we will get it right.
“We are playing some good football as a team and if we could get a few goals on Friday night it would get the confidence high again, get back on our feet and start winning games again.”
Stephenson recently netted his first competitive goal at U21 level with a fantastic long-range effort against Manchester United.
He is hoping to add more to his tally and help the team register victories.
“I’ve scored in a friendly against Wrexham for the U21s but that was a nice moment to score against Manchester United,” he said.
“I’ve been trying to work on that, getting into the box and getting into good areas and try to add goals to my game and help the team.”