Liverpool fans are hoping that the club has found another gem in 16-year-old winger Kaide Gordon, who is already on the cusp of making a first-team breakthrough at Anfield.
Gordon joined Liverpool from Derby’s youth academy in February after the two sides reached a compensation agreement, by which time he had already played once for the Ram’s first-team.
The teenager will turn 17 next month, but there is a chance he could get on the pitch before then after impressing the senior players and coaching staff in recent months.
Gordon had a brilliant end to last season with Liverpool’s Under-18 squad and was fast-tracked to the Under-23s this season. But after two goals and an assist in just three games in Premier League 2 so far, he was curiously left out of the team at the weekend.
With Liverpool set to face Norwich in the Carabao Cup this week and Gordon having already been involved with the first-team during pre-season, there is fervour that he could be involved.
Assistant manager Pep Lijnders, who watched Gordon training with the Under-23 squad at the very start of pre-season, did little to diffuse the hype when he spoke about the teenager on Monday.
“I went to watch U23s training and I see one player and he has fire in each moment he touched the ball! He passes players like they are not standing there, so I call Jurgen [Klopp] immediately like, ‘Wow, we have a new player here!’” the coach explained, via LiverpoolFC.com.
“We take all these young players to the pre-season and when do you know you have a good player around you? It’s when the senior players start taking care of this young player.
“So when you see James Milner speaking with Kaide, when you see Trent becoming like a proper mentor, when you see that they invite him to sit on the table. All our boys invited him in our group and that made it, not easier, but it made it good for him, how to adapt to our team, to our style.”
Lijnders said that Gordon has all the talents associated with a typical winger, but he also has the attributes of a natural goalscorer.
“He has a goal in him and he has this natural ability to be in the box between the goalposts to score, even when the cross comes from the opposite side, for example. Not many talents have that.
“They have maybe dribbling skills but they don’t have this desire to shoot, to come in the box, to score. So he is a typical Liverpool Football Club winger, in my opinion, because he has goals, he has speed. We really like him and we are really happy he is with us.”