— Salah has dominated Premier League defenders for 18 months, but Hoever held his own
— The youngster has already made a big impression on the first team
Liverpool’s squad were stunned by how impressive Ki-Jana Hoever was in his first training session with the senior squad despite having to mark Mohamed Salah.
The 16-year-old became the third youngest debutant in Liverpool history when he made his debut against Wolves in the FA Cup and gave an excellent account of himself despite being on the losing team.
Hoever only moved to Merseyside from Ajax over the summer – and for a paltry £90,000 – but is already making a name for himself, even among his teammates.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the Dutch youngster was invited to train with the senior squad for the first time just a week before Christmas due to a host of injuries sustained in defence.
And manager Jurgen Klopp threw him in at the deep end, asking Hoever to mark last season’s top scorer – and Player of the Year – Salah.
But far from being overawed, the rest of the Liverpool squad were ‘blown away’ by how well Hoever handled the Egyptian attacker, keeping him quiet throughout the session.
He made such a big impression that he has been part of the first-team squad ever since, leading to his debut against Wolves.
Klopp isn’t just a fan of Hoever’s performances, but also his humble and hard-working attitude, and intends to reward him with a new contract.
The teenager is eligible to sign his first professional deal on his 17th birthday in just over a week’s time, and there is a feeling around Anfield that he could be one of the most impressive young players to emerge in recent years.