Bobby Duncan’s name hit the spotlight on Wednesday after his agent sensationally accused Liverpool of holding the youngster against his will and damaging his mental health.
Duncan is one of Liverpool’s most exciting academy prospects but the reigning Champions League winners now face losing him at such a tender age following the string of accusations.
Here, Sportsmail has taken a detailed look at the teenager, his footballing profile and where he came from…
Liverpool face losing Bobby Duncan after they were accused of of holding him against his will
WHO IS HE?
The 18-year-old is the cousin of Liverpool legend and former captain Steven Gerrard, who played for the club between the years of 1998-2015.
Duncan plies his trade as a striker and has represented England at nearly every age group.
He holds the honour of being the first Three Lions player at any level to net a hat-trick against Brazil.
The 18-year-old is the cousin of Liverpool legend and former captain Steven Gerrard
WHERE DID HE COME FROM?
Duncan has endured a long journey to get to get to the fringes of Jurgen Klopp’s first team, starting out his journey as a seven-year-old.
He first caught the eye of professional clubs when he was prolific goalscorer playing for Mossley Hill at the age of seven. He had stints at both Liverpool and Merseyside rivals Everton but neither snapped him up.
Instead, he was snapped up by Wigan but after 18 months with the Latics, Premier League giants Manchester City made their move for him at 10 years of age – where he emerged as a natural goalscorer, scoring 66 times during the 2015-16 season.
However, he rejected a lucrative professional contract after becoming frustrated with a lack of opportunities and felt his pathway to the first team was blocked.
Liverpool then came calling last summer, seeing off interest from clubs in England and in Europe, paying a fee of £200,000.
WHY IS HE SO HIGHLY-RATED?
The teenager has been tipped for big things at Anfield and his scoring record confirms this.
Duncan was the top scorer for Liverpool’s Under 18s side last campaign, scoring a remarkable 32 goals in all competitions.
He also scored a crucial late equaliser in last season’s FA Youth Cup final as the Reds beat his former side City on penalties.
Duncan was used by Jurgen Klopp during pre-season and he managed to get on scoresheet
HAS HE MADE AN IMPACT ON FIRST-TEAM?
The clinical finisher’s fine form hasn’t gone unnoticed and he got a chance to shine in front of Reds manager Klopp this summer.
After winning the Champions League and nearly claiming their maiden Premier League title, Klopp still gave a chance to the England youngster.
Duncan made five appearances in pre-season, including scoring for the club in their 6-0 thrashing of Tranmere back in July.
Liverpool have been hopeful he can keep progressing through the ranks just like fellow English wonderkid Rhian Brewster.
WHAT DOES HIS FUTURE HOLD?
Despite being highly thought of on Merseyside, Duncan wants to leave Anfield and has attracted interest from Fiorentina and FC Nordsjaelland, who have made season-long loan offers, with a view to signing him on a permanent deal. But Liverpool have rejected all offers.
Duncan wants to leave Anfield and favours a move to Fiorentina, who made a fresh offer on Wednesday of a season-long loan with an obligation to buy for a fixed price if he makes five or more first-team appearances.
But after Liverpool dismissed that offer, Duncan’s represenatative, Saif Rubie sensationally slammed the Premier League giants.
Duncan wants to leave Anfield and has attracted interest from Fiorentina and FC Nordsjaelland
AND WHAT DID HIS AGENT SAY?…
Rubie said: ‘The real reason Bobby missed the Under-23 game (against Southampton) on Monday is because he has suffered some deep mental health issues with all the stress the club has put him under.
‘Stress of being told he can leave but then going out of their way to force him to stay against his will.
‘Not only is he on a very small salary but he also has one season left on his contract after this one and Liverpool have flatly said he will not get a new one.
‘Bobby has not left his room for four days because of this and will never go back to Liverpool again and my only concern now is his mental health and well being.
‘This is not really dignified behaviour from a club with the rich history of Liverpool and who one of their greatest ever players Steven Gerrard happens to be Bobby’s cousin.
‘It’s a sad state of affairs that a club such as a Liverpool can be allowed to get away with destroying the life of a young man such as Bobby.
‘In this situation all that matters is the players health.’