Anyone questioning the value of Liverpool again entering a competition in which they are still yet to win a single game need only look at what has happened to those involved in EFL Trophy action last time out.
When the Reds were narrowly beaten 3-2 at Accrington Stanley last October, Jarell Quansah and Stefan Bajcetic were both in the starting line-up while Ben Doak came off the bench to score.
All three have subsequently been involved with Jurgen Klopp's first team this season with Quansah making his full debut in the 3-1 win at Wolves on Saturday. And each would have benefited from exposure in the competition against senior sides from the lower leagues.
For that reason, Liverpool continue to accept the invitation to take part despite a record that has seen them lose all 12 games - including one on a penalty shoot-out - while conceding 41 goals.
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"It gives us an extra dimension to our games programme," said under-21s coach Barry Lewtas, whose team start their latest EFL Trophy tilt at League Two side Morecambe this evening. "It gives us a chance to play against senior opposition in a proper competition, so for us it just allows our boys to get that exposure to prepare them for the next step.
"Over the last couple of years we have loaned a lot of our boys out to the EFL and obviously given them that exposure as to what that level is all about, so this competition for some boys is the start of their journey."
Indeed, there were other notable players involved at Accrington. James McConnell and Lewis Koumas, who both appeared for the first team inRead on liverpoolecho.co.uk