Liverpool agree fee with Athletic Bilbao for forward after Ben Doak emergence

Liverpool Under-18s winger Elijah Gift is set to to return to his native Spain after a fee was agreed with Athletic Bilbao

Elijah Gift is closing in on a transfer to Athletic Bilbao after Liverpool agreed a fee with the La Liga side.

The ECHO understands that the 16-year-old, who joined the Reds from Huddersfield Town as an Under-12s player, is set to return to his native Spain for an undisclosed fee. Bilbao famously only select players from the Basque region, with the winger costing a premium for the Spaniards as a result after interest emerged.

While the fee is undisclosed, it’s understood to be a good offer with The Athletic reporting it to be in the region of £1m. Liverpool decided to sanction an exit considering they are well-served in the attacking wide areas at Academy level. The presence of the likes of Ben Doak, Harvey Blair, Trent Kone-Doherty, and Ranel Young, who signed his first professional contract with the club this week, ensure the Young Reds are well-stocked out wide at Under-21s and Under-18s level.

A first-year scholar, Gift had just completed his first season with Liverpool Under-18s. He made 20 appearances in 2022/23, including a UEFA Youth League debut for the Under-19s, scoring four goals and registering three assists for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side.

The highlight of Gift’s season came in the Under-18s Merseyside Derby in January, as he registered both a goal and an assist in a 2-2 draw with Everton at The Academy. Capable of playing on either flank, the teenager finished the season strongly with two goals and two assists from his final four U18 Premier League appearances, including a goal off the bench in Liverpool’s final day 3-1 victory over Newcastle United.