Not every player that comes through the Liverpool academy can make it to the first team and stay there.
While the likes of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher were able to reach legendary status, and current Reds stars such as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones have enormous futures in front of them, there is the need for the club to move on those who have a promising career ahead of them, just not at Anfield.
Liverpool have been more successful than most at making sure they can command big fees for their players, with the sales of the likes of Jordon Ibe proof of that, with Bournemouth shelling out £15m to acquire his services.
This past summer Harry Wilson depart for £12m, while the previous summer saw Rhian Brewster exit the club for around £23.5m. Had the pandemic not impacted spending of clubs in the Championship and lower end of the Premier League the Reds would have hoped to get closer to £20m for Wilson.
Over the past decade the academy’s success in terms of moving on those who don’t quite make the grade can be seen through how much has been recouped in transfer fees, with Liverpool bringing in £153.9m in sales of academy players in the past 10 years.
The 20 current Premier League clubs have brought in a combined total of £1.4bn in transfer fees over the last 10 seasons for players that have come through their academy systems. That figure is based on fees reported in the media at the time of each transfer.
Some of those fees were for established first team regulars, such as the £100m Aston Villa received for Jack Grealish. Many, though, were for players yet to make a name for themselves in the senior team, such as the £23.5m Liverpool reportedly received from Sheffield United for Brewster.
In fact, the Reds have the fourth most lucrative academy in the Premier League when it comes to bringing in transfer fees.
Raheem Sterling commanded a bigger fee than any other player to have been in the Liverpool youth set-up. The England forward set Manchester City back a reported £49m.
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Brewster cost the next most at £23.5m, followed by Ibe at £15m, Wilson at £12m, and Ki-Jana Hoever at £10m.
Chelsea top the academy transfer list though, having brought in £177.7m in transfer fees for players that have come through their academy.
Manchester City come next with £176.5m, followed by Arsenal with £166.9m, then Liverpool with £153.9m, and Aston Villa with £113.2m, though much of that is through the sale of Grealish.
Newcastle United are at the other end of the scale. The Magpies’ academy players have been sold for a combined total of just £6.3m over the last decade. That’s less than Manchester United received for Sam Johnstone (£6.5m), and he never made a senior appearance for the club.
Burnley’s academy players have earned the club £7m, Watford’s £7.9, and Wolves’ £9.7m.