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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Liverpool criticise 'inaccurate' outburst of teenage striker's agent

Bobby Duncan was the club’s top goalscorer at U18 level last season.

Liverpool's Bobby Duncan (file pic).
Liverpool's Bobby Duncan (file pic).

LIVERPOOL HAVE PLEDGED to seek a resolution with Bobby Duncan after describing allegations made against them by the teenage forward’s agent as “inaccurate” and “inflammatory”.

Duncan’s representative Saif Rubie claimed his client wants to leave the club and that Liverpool’s moves to block a transfer away has taken a toll on the 18-year-old’s wellbeing.

Rubie singled out Reds sporting director Michael Edwards for criticism and alleged the treatment of Duncan — who is Steven Gerrard’s cousin — showed “zero consideration” for the player’s mental health.

Liverpool have strongly refuted Rubie’s claims with a spokesperson stating: “Liverpool Football Club is aware of and disappointed by the unattributed comments and unfounded allegations that have been made in the media regarding one of our players.

As the interests of the player in question are not best served by either inaccurate speculation, inflammatory statements or public discourse, we will be making no further comment.

“We will, however, continue our efforts to work privately with the player to find resolution in the best interests of all involved.”

Duncan joined the Reds in August 2018 and, after scoring a crucial equaliser in Liverpool U18s’ victory over Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup final, he featured for Jurgen Klopp’s first-team in pre-season friendlies.

“There has been a lot of things said the last few weeks regarding Bobby Duncan’s future at Liverpool,” read Rubie’s statement, which was also shared — and later deleted — on Twitter by the youngster himself.

It was recognised that Bobby wasn’t happy at Liverpool for different reasons and Alex [Inglethorpe, Liverpool academy director] invited us to bring offers to the club for the exit of Bobby Duncan.

“We have been able to find clubs that were ready to take Bobby on a season-long loan with an option to buy for amounts of £1.5million upwards, which is a great return for the club on a player who will never play for the Liverpool first-team and who doesn’t want to be there.

“The club and Michael Edwards specifically made it clear that that kind of deal wouldn’t work.

“He [Duncan] has suffered some deep mental health issues with all the stress the club has put him under.”

Duncan was Liverpool U18s’ leading scorer in 2018-19, netting 32 goals in all competitions, but former Reds defender Jamie Carragher said success at a young age may have affected his expectations.

“I know Bobby and his family well, he’s young and at that age we all want everything right now,” Carragher tweeted in response to Rubie’s statement.

[He] played for the first team in pre-season, which is a great start, and he should try and develop this season and maybe make the bench in [the] Carabao Cup.

“That should be the advice you’re giving him.”

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