‘So much potential it’s frightening’: Introducing Liverpool’s Kaide Gordon

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Liverpool have both produced and brought in some superb youngsters in recent years, and it looks as though Kaide Gordon could be next in line to excite fans at Anfield.

Despite still being just 16 years old, the winger was involved with the first-team during pre-season and made his competitive debut in the 3-0 Carabao Cup win against Norwich City.

So, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about the Liverpool youngster turning heads while turning defenders inside-out.

His career so far

Gordon actually only joined Liverpool in February of this year, moving from the troubled Derby County for an initial £1m that could rise to £3.4m, having been with the Rams since he was six years old.

Derby had wanted to keep hold of the youngster, while Manchester United also posed competition for his signature, but Gordon had his heart set on Liverpool, with the respective rises of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones proving that there was a pathway to the top level.

Before that move, he’d managed to make his senior debut for the Rams, replacing Graeme Shinnie in the 89th minute of their 4-0 Championship win against Birmingham City.

February was also a good month for Gordon because it saw him turn out for England U16s for the first two times. As you’ll see, the boy progresses quickly, and made his England U18s debut in September.

The winger soon got to work on impressing for Liverpool’s U18s, and he particularly stood out in a four-game period between April and May: facing Wolves, Leeds United, Middlesbrough and former club Derby, he recorded a brilliant six goals and two assists.

The teenager then made his debut for the U23s in May, but there wasn’t much slowing up there, as he recorded three goals and an assist in four games at that level – despite the first, against Leicester City, providing the winger with just 19 minutes to show what he can do.

Having impressed during the pre-season training camp with Jurgen Klopp’s team in Austria and France, making his first appearance for the seniors, Gordon would turn out in the Carabao Cup against Norwich City just four months after making his U23s debut.

Not only that, he lasted the whole game and could have had an assist, after making a defence-splitting run and pass to Divock Origi.

Where does he play?

Jame Pearce has compared Gordon to Mohamed Salah in terms of his style of play, with the 16-year-old preferring to play on the right wing, using his fearlessness, skill and shooting ability to take players on and score goals.

That’s clearly worked to great effect in the youth ranks, as shown by his aforementioned record of goals and assists, while we also caught a glimpse of that against the Canaries – even if his strike eventually went narrowly wide.

Considering Salah is one of the best in the world at what he does, Gordon has the perfect role model to learn from in training to help develop his game even further.

What he said

With his clubs perhaps wanting to shield the 16-year-old from getting too much media attention, Gordon has been a young man of few words so far, with short social media comments about all the wider public has heard from him – leaving the feet to do the talking.

After signing for the Reds, he simply put: “Next chapter… can’t wait to get going.”

Though Klopp offered an insight into the teenager’s personality after his debut, saying: “The first thing that Kaide said to me after the game, when I wanted to say congratulations, he said ‘thank you!’. But there was nothing to be thankful about, he deserved it.” On social media, Gordon added:

What they’ve said

– “I went to U23s training and I see one player and he has fire in each moment he touched the ball. He passes players like they’re not standing there. So, I called Jurgen immediately, like “Wow, we have a new player here.'” Pep Lijnders enthused before Gordon’s debut against Norwich.

– “[He has] a lot of things to improve, a lot of things to settle, a lot of things to learn, but there’s already a lot of things already there. We are really happy to have him around,” Klopp said after that game. “We will treat him carefully, but I’m really happy that he’s here. He’s a big talent.”

– “Kaide Gordon, who is 16 years old, is coming out of his shell, he is training well and is a great talent,” Virgil van Dijk said back in August:

– “Kaide has so much potential it’s frightening, really, I’ve wanted to be with him like Hendo was with me — a mentor,” Trent Alexander-Arnold adds.

– “Kaide is a fantastic player. I brought him into the squad because he was showing the qualities I want,” his former manager Wayne Rooney said.

– “We knew from what we had seen over the years that Liverpool were getting an absolute bargain for what they paid,” Derby’s academy director, Darren Wassall, has added. “We knew that if he continued in how he progressed here he was going to be an unbelievable asset for Liverpool.”

– “He had a few teams and there was one called St George’s and that’s when I knew. He was scoring 12 goals a game and it wasn’t really fair,”  Kaide’s brother, Kellan, told The Athletic. “You could just see he was special. He was always ahead of every other kid when he was younger. He used to take the mick out of people to be honest. He must have been about six or seven and he was unplayable. People were like ‘Who is this kid?'”

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