Andy Firth has confirmed he will be leaving Liverpool on a permanent deal after 11 years with the Reds.

The goalkeeper, who joined his boyhood club at U11 level, has signed for National League side Barrow as a means of securing regular first-team football.

Firth’s move arrives just over two weeks after he put pen to paper on a new deal at Anfield, with the 21-year-old having been expected to retain his place in the U23s squad.

The Ripon-born shot-stopper spent the second half of last season on loan at non-league Chester but wasn’t able to help the Blues avoid relegation.

He has since made the decision to continue his career elsewhere and subsequently thanked Liverpool for their support over the years.

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Firth’s limited game time for Liverpool’s youth sides has been down to the impressive development of Kamil Grabara, Caoimhin Kelleher and more recently Viteslav Jaros, who featured for Steven Gerrard’s U18s after arriving at the club last summer.

Liverpool’s goalkeeping department has opened the stage to auditions in pre-season in light of a potential shake-up to the squad.

First-team backup Danny Ward recently sealed a permanent switch to Leicester City, following on from Adam Bodgan’s loan move to Hibernian.

Alisson’s £65million arrival from Roma has further fuelled speculation linking Simon Mignolet to a permanent departure having fallen behind Loris Karius in the pecking order.

Both Grabara and Kelleher could be granted first-team opportunities on the Reds’ tour of the USA after being named in the 29-man squad set to compete in the International Champions Cup tournament.

Given the circumstances at Liverpool, Firth’s decision to leave his beloved club is a wise and admirable one.

We would like to wish him all the very best in his new challenge.

Cameron Hogwood