ESPN FC: Are Liverpool the real deal?
Brendan Rodgers has warned his young players to stay grounded and work hard after declaring that Wales new boy Harry Wilson is not yet good enough for the Premier League.
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Wilson became Wales' youngest-ever full international on Tuesday, aged 16 years and 207 days, when he appeared as a substitute in their 1-1 draw with Belgium.
But Rodgers has sent out a general message to his young players that they must marry effort to talent -- just days after recalling two of them early from loan spells at Football League clubs.
Attacking midfielder Joao Carlos Teixeira, 20, has been brought back from League One Brentford two-and-a-half months early after making just two substitute appearances.
And striker Michael Ngoo, 20, has come back from a planned season-long loan at Yeovil after failing to score in seven appearances for the Championship side.
Asked if Wilson, who has yet to play a first-team game for Liverpool, was close to a Premier League debut, Rodgers said: "He's not near the Premier League. I was surprised, to be honest. Wales obviously had a lot of injuries.
"He's a very talented player, who knows he’ll have a great opportunity here if he continues to develop. But in terms of him becoming a Premier League player, it's important that we stay calm and let him develop at his own rate."
And having recalled Teixeira and Ngoo, Rodgers has told his youngsters that they cannot expect to go out on loan to a Football League club and walk into their team.
"With all due respect, some of the young players aren't good enough," he added. "Everyone thinks that because you're at a top club and you've got some good young players, then they can just walk into a League One team or a Championship team. It doesn't work like that.
"I supervised a group at Chelsea where we had some wonderful young players. But it's a harsh reality. It's not all bright lights and the Premier League. It's a tough world.
"Some guys out there are experienced players, who are maybe earning £400 or £500 a week. And they're not going to let some guy coming in who thinks he's a superstar to take his place. That's his life. That's his living. So they've got to earn the right to go out there.
"That's always the way I've looked at it with the young players. Of course, we want them to go out and play. But they've got to be good enough to go and play. If they're not, then they won't. It's as simple as that.
"You hope you can put them at clubs where they have a similar philosophy, with a manager who can understand a young player. That's something we've always tried to do with our youngsters.
"Sometimes if you're at a big club, you're not getting an opportunity, you need a career outside the club before you get a career in the club -- unless you're ultra-talented."