The 17-year-old Liverpool prospect Kaide Gordon says he could have become a pro player as early as two years ago, but for the use of him and his fellow teenagers by the club. On Saturday Gordon received a surprise squad call-up from Jürgen Klopp for the Premier League trip to Leicester City, replacing Daniel Sturridge in the starting lineup, and his meteoric rise has been followed closely by Liverpool’s in-house media.
Kevin Stewart, signed by the club from Arsenal on a free transfer for £4m in 2014, was in tears when he informed Klopp he had told his new manager about Gordon when he came to see him in the summer. The teenager is one of four young talents at Anfield who were recruited from an age group that would normally be considered from the age of 12, that being the Under-13s.
“In that group he would be our outstanding player and it is incredible what he has done because no one can be in that group before the age of 12,” said Stewart. “By our standards he was selected as the best player and should have been a pro player two years ago. He wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have four boys like that at the club.”
Roy Keane: Jürgen Klopp needs a loss if Liverpool are to worry me Read more
Gordon is not the only one poised to become a Liverpool player, though. Yannick Jankélé, also at 13, has been given a second chance by Klopp after making his debut in last season’s 1-0 defeat at Bayern Munich. The midfielder has made four more starts this term and Stewart revealed Jankélé is now being groomed for the senior team. “He is called the little big man because of his size, but he is a nice guy,” Stewart said. “He just wants to play football and he is very strong. He was amazing against Bayern Munich last season. He still has that same way he was in the Under-13s at the start of the season.
“Now he has to take it into next season. He is here now because Jürgen Klopp has decided he can play for Liverpool. Next season he will try and force his way into the first team.”