Liverpool has signed 20-year-old center-back Oludare Olufunwa on a free transfer. The deal came after an impressive trial with the under-21s.
Olufnwa was one of two trialists in defense of Barry Lewtas’ U21s throughout the summer. He went in pre-season friendly against Caernarfon Town and Wigan.
This came when he was let go by Southampton on July 1. And Liverpool went on taking advantage of the kid’s free availability.
The permanent transfer of Tom Clayton to Swindon and the signing of Rhys Williams and Billy Koumetio on loans were the preceding events. It was decided to bolster the defense, with Olufunwa initially set to play for the U21s.
As a result, he will team up with Miles, Lee Jonas, and Quansah as Lewtas’ main choices at the defense.
Jonas paired Quansah on Sunday to open the Premier League 2 season against Man City. But there was no backup center-back on the bench.
Olufunwa joins as new center-back for the Liverpool academy team
Olufunwa can now participate in competitive games after being fully fit because he is now officially a member of the team.
He adds experience to the academy team, which will have 10 youngsters under the age of 18. Plus, there are three players under the age of 18 Stefan Bajcetic, Isaac Mabaya, and Bobby Clark.
Olufunwa may or may not receive a chance to play for the first team in the future. But there are parallels between his circumstance and Nat Phillips’ from earlier times in 2016.
After his contract with Bolton expired six years ago, Liverpool signed a 19-year-old Phillips on a free transfer. Although initially just seen as another body for the U21s, Phillips went on to unexpectedly break into the senior team.
He has made it to the team 4 times as of now. And after loan stints with Stuttgart and Bournemouth, top-flight teams are showing interest in him.
The second trialist in the U21 team this summer is still an enigma, as does the likelihood of landing a full-time job.