THE SECRET SCOUT: Liverpool’s Tom Clayton can tackle, take care of the ball and make sensible passes

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THE SECRET SCOUT: Liverpool midfielder Tom Clayton can tackle, take care of the ball and make steady, sensible passes … the 20-year-old seems to have the right mindset in his quest for a breakthrough

  • The 20-year-old Liverpool youngster can play midfield and hold midfield
  • He has square shoulders, a heavy-handed running style and a nice left foot
  • Clayton also seems to have the right mindset at this crucial stage of his career

Our scout is a top football expert who attends matches every week in search of the next star.

This week, Liverpool midfielder Tom Clayton is in the spotlight …

WHAT DOES HE HAVE?

I saw this young local candidate play in a three-man midfield with defensive duties, but also able to move forward, alternating and coordinating with his midfield partners.

He has square shoulders, a heavy-handed running style and a nice left foot.

His passing range immediately caught my attention. In possession he kept his arms outstretched to protect the ball well. His use of the ball was stable rather than spectacular, making him available to give a sensible selection of passes.

Liverpool’s Tom Clayton can play in the center of defense and as a midfielder

That said, he made a few searching field passes with perfect accuracy.

He was happy to face strong but fair challenges, and although he succumbed to a yellow card, it didn’t affect him. He still tackled when needed, constantly encouraging his teammates in his role as captain.

His recovery runs looked responsible and he was alert to get behind the ball when a move failed and possession was lost.

His course was okay under challenge and he used his right foot when needed.

In possession, Clayton kept his arms outstretched to protect the ball well

In possession, Clayton kept his arms outstretched to protect the ball well

WHAT DOES HE NEED?

Although he has a reasonable stride, he may not be the fastest. That said, he has an alert mind and this helps him use his positioning to compensate.

Clayton seems to have the right mindset and this is crucial between the ages of 19 and 22, when one finds out whether players can stand their ground among the men.

The last player to show excellent form for Liverpool at this level was Curtis Jones. Clayton will hope he can make the same trip.

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