Cream of the crop...Liverpool’s new boys are Milk Cup old boys

Milk Cup old boy Christian Benteke has joined Liverpool. Nick Potts/PA Wire.
Milk Cup old boy Christian Benteke has joined Liverpool. Nick Potts/PA Wire.
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Two of Liverpool’s biggest summer acquisitions have graced the north coast pitches during Milk Cup week in years gone by.

Graduates James Milner and Christian Benteke have joined the Anfield club to link up with another tournament old boy, Brendan Rodgers.

Benteke put pen to paper for the Reds last week to complete a £32.5million move. The striker played for Belgium in 2008 Elite tournament listed as Christian Benteke Liolo.

He scored both goals in Belgium’s 2-2 Monday night draw with Israel in their opener.

Benteke scored another brace against Northern Ireland in a 5-4 defeat at Ballymena Showgrounds two days later. Coleraine skipepr Howard Beverland came on as a 73rd minute sub in that game.

Belgium eventually finished fourth in the competition after losing their play-off match against the USA 2-1.

Northern Ireland went on to win the trophy as they beat Chile 2-1 in the final at Coleraine Showgrounds. The squad included James McClean, Ryan McGivern, Daniel Lafferty, Andy Little, Shane Duffy, Philip Lowry, Jordan Owens, Wayne Drummond, Jamie McGivern, Ross Redman, Nathan Hanley and Howard Beverland.

Milner was part of the victorious Leeds United side which won the competition back in 2002.

They beat Panathinaikos of Greece 4-0 to lift Premier trophy.

The midfielder made his Premier League debut for Leeds shortly after before going on to win a number of trophies at Manchester City.

He will be hoping to con tinue that success at Anfield.

His new boss Brendan Rodgers also began his career at the Milk Cup and he knows the importance of the competition.

“The Dale Farm Milk Cup is an internationally recognised brand that appeals to all ages and all nationalities,” said Rodgers.

“In terms of what we are striving to achieve with young players at Anfield, the competition cannot be underestimated.

“It gives players the challenge of tournament football in a stimulating environment and at the highest level,” added the Anfield boss.