Liverpool debuted 16-year-old sensation Kaide Gordon for their Carabao Cup draw on Tuesday night – and that provides a timely financial boost for struggling Derby County.
Gordon, who can play as a winger or attacking midfielder, joined Liverpool from the Rams in February, four months after his 16th birthday.
The Reds have paid the Championship club an initial sum of £ 1.1million, which could rise to £ 3.4million depending on various clauses triggered.
The Times reports that one of those clauses will be triggered now that Gordon has been given the green light for Tuesday’s EFL Cup clash with Norwich at Carrow Road, live on talkSPORT, which will see Derby receive an additional £ 100,000 payout .
This is timely for Derby, which was placed under administration on Saturday.
Liverpool assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders revealed on Monday the huge impression he made with the Under-23s in early July.
Jurgen Klopp’s No.2 even said he called the Liverpool boss as soon as he saw the teenager play for the first time, and a number of the club’s senior stars quickly took him under their wing .
“I saw a player and he has fire every moment he touches the ball,” said Lijnders. “He passes the players as if they weren’t standing there.
“I called Jürgen [Klopp] immediately and was like, ‘Wow! We have a new player here.
Gordon was one of many youngsters taken to Liverpool’s pre-season training base in Austria, with several senior stars resting after Euro 2020 and Copa America efforts.
However, it was maintained when the first team moved to Evian, France, rather than returning to Merseyside. He made five preseason appearances with Liverpool.
“When do you know you have a good player around you? That’s when the senior players start to take care of this young player, ”added Lijnders.
“So when you see James Milner talking with Kaide, when you see Trent [Alexander-Arnold] become like a good mentor to him, when you see that they invite him to sit at the table.
“All of our boys invited him to the squad and it wasn’t easy, but it allowed him to adapt to our team and our style. He’s what you see a lot with those kind of winger – they can outperform, they can combine.
“But he has a goal in him and he has that natural ability to be in the box between the posts to score, even when a cross comes from the opposite side.
“Few talents have that. They may have dribbling skills, but they don’t have that desire to shoot, to get into the box, to score. He’s a typical Liverpool Football Club winger because he has goals, he has speed.
Gordon made his league debut by Wayne Rooney last December and is now Liverpool’s fifth youngest player.
He will break Liverpool’s record for youngest goalscorer, a record currently held by Ben Woodburn, if he scores a tie.
Klopp often uses the Carabao Cup as an opportunity to give Liverpool’s younger players a chance.
Conor Bradley, an 18-year-old full-back who previously played for Northern Ireland, is also in the starting XI, while midfielder Tyler Morton, 18, is on the bench.
Players like Harvey Elliott have burst into the first team after impressive Carabao Cup appearances, while 20-year-old Curtis Jones is one of the team’s seasoned heads and makes his 50th senior appearance for the Reds.
“I am excited about our academy,” Lijnders added.
“There are so many diamonds, so many special players, who are eager to take these steps, so it’s important that we keep doing it. With the one we push, we inspire the whole academy.
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