Ollie King looks at 17-year-old Gordon’s short Liverpool career so far, and wonders just how far this talented youngster can go at Anfield.
Aged 17, many of us could only dream of playing professional football at a Premier League club. The closest many of us got was with a PlayStation controller in hand.
But for Kaide Gordon that dream that evades so many has become a reality, having risen through the ranks at Derby County to secure a move to the Reds in February this year.
And his performances within the academy have been rewarded with Gordon’s first professional contract following his 17th birthday last week.
During pre-season, he impressed on multiple occasions with his direct play and intricate foot work, and that was only the start.
The teenager caught the eye of Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp when part of a group of Academy players who trained with the senior squad during pre-season, and featured in friendlies including the Anfield win over Osasuna and 4-3 defeat to Hertha Berlin.
He made his first team debut last month in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Norwich in the Carabao Cup at Carrow Road, and many believe it won’t be long until he is in and around the matchday squad on a regular basis.
The youngster started off in the East Midlands with Derby County, working his way up from the age of eight. He stayed with the youth side for seven years before being called up to the first team last season. He made his Championship debut in December 2020 against Birmingham City, appearing as a substitute.
Gordon is a winger, who has speed and the ability to take players on and even score goals. In his six appearances this season, the youngster has two goals and one assist in all competitions.
The teenager is often on the right-wing, a position where he could have plenty of insight from the likes of Mohamed Salah and, given the current contract situation with the Egyptian, could be a ready-made replacement if the worst happens.
He has also received high praise from Liverpool’s assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders, who spoke about his potential in the channels.
“He is what you see a lot with these kind of wingers – they can outplay, they can combine – but he has a goal in him,” the Dutch coach said.
“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.”
Jürgen Klopp has trusted youth throughout the entirety of his Anfield career, giving debuts to the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones, and most recently, Harvey Elliott.
Although many have branded the German manager as ‘disrespectful’ when fielding these players for the likes of the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup, Klopp has insisted that the players in question are good enough to play for the Liverpool first team.
Gordon received high praise for his performance at Carrow Road, and it would not be surprising if he was to feature again in the fourth-round match away to Preston North End in two weeks’ time.
It is clear to see there is an abundance of talent at the feet of Gordon, and Klopp’s faith in youth could turn out to be a great advantage for the youngster as his career progresses.
The illustrious Liverpool academy has produced some incredible talent in recent years, and it could be Kaide Gordon’s turn to become a darling of the Kop for many years to come.
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