Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan has spoken out for the first time since a bust-up between his agent and the club was made public.
Duncan, 18, took to Twitter to write “I just want to play football!”, however the tweet was deleted soon afterwards.
Duncan’s agent, Saif Rubie, released a lengthy statement earlier this week accusing Liverpool of “holding him against his will and damaging his mental health” and ‘bullying’ the player by not allowing him to leave.
He also claimed the forward, did not leave his house for four days due to the stress of not being allowed to leave Anfield on loan. Rubie has since deleted his own Twitter account.
Liverpool released a brief statement on the episode, labelling Rubie’s words as ‘unfounded allegations’.
“As the interests of the player in question are not best served by either inaccurate speculation, inflammatory statements or public discourse, we will be making no further comment,” the club added.
Duncan, who is the cousin of Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, moved to his boyhood club last summer following a messy departure from Manchester City.
He enjoyed an excellent campaign with the club’s youth set-up last season – scoring 25 goals and supplying eight assists in 36 appearances for the Under-18s.
Duncan shared the statement by his agent on Twitter, although later deleted it.
“It was recognised that Bobby wasn’t happy at Liverpool for different reasons and Alex [Inglethorpe] invited us to bring offers to the club for the exit of Bobby Duncan,” the statement read.
“For a player with zero first team experience, no clubs were prepared to pay an outright reasonable fee for a player they got for £200,000 last summer.
“With that in mind we have been able to find clubs that were ready to take Bobby on a season-long loan with a option to buy for amounts of £1.5million upwards which is a great return for the club on a player who will never play for the Liverpool first team and who doesn’t want to be there.
“… 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.’
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Before he deleted his Twitter account, Rubie got into an online spat with Reds legend Jamie Carragher.
“You have made a big mistake and are hurting yourself but more importantly a young lads career. Throwing Stevie Gerrard’s name in also is embarrassing,” wrote Carragher on his Twitter page.
Carragher continued: “I think Bobby Duncan should leave this guy before he gets sacked by the club.”
However, Rubie replied: “Do you want to give advice on how to spit at people from outside of a car? You’re the last person to say or know what’s really going on behind the scenes. Focus on your job and I’ll focus on mine.”
Rubie then went on to say Liverpool’s sporting director Michael Edwards was a ‘glorified data analyst’ while questioning his values of player well-being.