Kaide Gordon will become one of the youngest players in Liverpool’s history when he makes his debut in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie at Norwich.
Gordon, who is 16 years and 351 days old, is earmarked to get some minutes at Carrow Road, as Liverpool aim to progress in the competition that was once regarded as Anfield’s property after they won it eight times. They last reached the final in 2016.
Jurgen Klopp will make a raft of changes to the side that beat Crystal Palace on Saturday and Gordon, who Liverpool signed from Derby County in February for an initial £1million, will definitely play some part after making a huge impression on the coaching staff over the summer.
Derby will be due £100,000 in compensation if Gordon starts, as part of a clause in the deal they struck to sell him, and Liverpool are confident they have a young player with significant potential.
‘Before pre-season we always make sure our biggest talents start a week earlier than we start,’ said Pep Lijnders, Liverpool’s assistant manager.
‘They start with the Under 23s so I went to the training ground to watch. I saw one player and he had fire in each moment he touched the ball. He passed players like they were not standing there.
‘I called Jurgen immediately and was like, ”Wow! We have a new player here!” We take all these young players to pre-season and when do you know you have a good player around you? It is when the senior players start taking care of them.
‘So when you see James Milner speaking with Kaide, when you see Trent Alexander-Arnold becoming a proper mentor to him, when you see they invite him to sit at the table — all our boys invited him in the group and that made it good for him to adapt to our team and our style.
‘He is what you see a lot with these wingers: they can play but they can combine. He has a goal in him and natural ability to be in the box between the goalposts to score even when a cross comes from the opposite side.
‘Not many talents have that. They have dribbling skills but they don’t have that desire to shoot, to come in the box, to score.
‘He is a typical Liverpool winger because he has goals, he has speed. We really like him.’