Liverpool have extended the contract of young academy goalkeeper Shamal George before sending him out on loan for the first time.
The 19-year-old goalkeeper put pen to paper on fresh terms at Anfield on Tuesday (1 August) and promptly headed north to Carlisle United, where he will hope to increase his exposure to senior football and try to help Keith Curle's side recover from their play-off semi-final defeat and gain promotion from League Two.
Such a loan initially runs until January, although there will likely be scope to extend it for the entire season should George impress during his initial five-month spell in Cumbria.
"It has been a dream for me to play for this club, so to get another contract on top of what I've already had is a good feeling," George, who signed his first professional deal in May 2016, told Liverpool's official website after confirmation of both agreements.
"For my first year I didn't have too much luck, I was injured for quite a lot of it. Hopefully I can push on and this loan can do quite a lot for me.
"Game time is important for me because last year I didn't play much. Game time is the main focus. Liverpool will be watching me so hopefully they'll see I'm good enough and I can come back and push on here."
Wirral native George joined boyhood idols Liverpool back in 2009 and, along with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria, was one of three academy graduates selected by Jurgen Klopp to accompany the first team on their pre-season tour of the United States last summer. He was memorably introduced as an emergency striker in a domestic friendly against Huddersfield Town after an injury occurred with all outfield substitutes already deployed.
Injury stunts progress
However, an elbow problem stunted his progress during an injury-riddled 2016-17 campaign and Liverpool goalkeeping coach John Achterberg said in June that the former Manor FC custodian needed to "improve his strength and be more robust" in the hope that he would be able to avoid small injuries and cope with the physicality.
Achterberg's Carlisle counterpart, Simon Tracey, said he had been monitoring "real prospect" George for two years and claimed he was "comfortable with the ball, has a real presence" and was a "good communicator" comfortable using both feet.
"It's no surprise to anyone that he's very highly thought of by his parent club," he said. "The grounding they've given him has put him in a good place in terms of where his career can go and this will be a fantastic experience for him which will be of benefit to all parties concerned.
"He's going to be in a competitive and demanding first team environment and we think he has the character and temperament which will relish the challenge that throws up. We're all looking forward to working with him and we can see him being real competition for Jack [Bonham] for that starting place."