By Daniel Moxon – @dmoxon_
Teenage starlet Ki-Jana Hoever has been training with Liverpool’s first-team squad, as some eagle-eyed fans discovered in photographs.
The 16-year-old defender – comfortable at both centre-back and right-back – arrived from Eredivisie heavyweights Ajax only a few months ago, but has made a massive impact on Merseyside which has been noticed by manager Jurgen Klopp.
Now, amidst the Reds’ defensive ‘mini-crisis’, the gaffer has clearly decided that the time is right to bring-in the Dutchman from the Kirkby Academy to Melwood and give him some vital experience of training alongside the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren.
With Joe Gomez and Joel Matip out for at least the next few weeks and Trent Alexander-Arnold also suffering a recent injury, Klopp will likely be forced to look to his young guns to provide cover during a hectic festive period.
The more seasoned pair of Nathaniel Phillips and Conor Masterson will no doubt be ahead of the still unproven Hoever in the pecking order, with the former impressing in pre-season and the latter having appeared on the bench a few times over the last 12 months.
Still, the decision to bring in the Dutchman to first-team sessions is a prudent move designed to give a raw talent some more adequate preparation should the injury list lengthen, in case he is required to make the step up to the highest level.