When Conor Coady left Liverpool after nine years in 2014, few could have predicted his rise to leading Wolves to promotion to the Premier League.
It is a sobering reality that not every academy hopeful will establish themselves as a first-team regular, with the path from Kirkby to Anfield particularly demanding.
While Trent Alexander-Arnold has made over 20 appearances in his first full season in the senior setup at Liverpool, 12 other youngsters departed last summer, with four leaving in the winter.
Another batch of talents have stepped up to take their place, with the likes of Adam Lewis, Curtis Jones, Elijah Dixon-Bonner, Ben Woodburn, Rafa Camacho, Rhian Brewster and Liam Millar hopeful of a long-term future on Merseyside.
But as precedent suggests, some among their ranks will not make it with the Reds, so what comes next for those who fail to stake their claim?
Coady’s impressive career path proves that leaving Liverpool is not a death knell even for the most faithful of youths.
Born in St Helens, Coady joined the Reds as a 12-year-old in 2005, rising through the ranks at his boyhood club to establish himself as one of their most distinguished youngsters in the early 2010s.
His leadership qualities stood out from an early age, and Coady captained both the Liverpool U18s and U21s, largely operating as a holding midfielder.
At 17, he also led England to glory in the European U17 Championship in Liechtenstein in 2010,…