Jurgen Klopp has offered an assessment of Ryan Kent after the winger’s performances in pre-season.
Kent, 22, spent last season with Steven Gerrard at Rangers. It was a successful spell, too, as he won the Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year award.
But can he push on from that to break into the Liverpool first-team set-up? Well, here’s Klopp’s take on it, per the Daily Record.
“Ryan had sensational moments in the Sevilla game – one-on-one situations are his big strength,” he said.
“He is a wonderful kid, a wonderful player.
“Very good moments in pre-season, but it is for all the boys always a big challenge as well to show up.
“They probably feel under pressure, which they shouldn’t but it is natural that it happens. I am happy about that, absolutely.”
The challenge is huge, of course. Here are players needing to step up but also look at home among players who are used to playing together every week.
A side so comfortably together that they won the Champions League, no less. That’s not easy to just slip into.
As for what Kent can take from Klopp’s public comments, it’s hard to say. He clearly sees from real quality in him – his use of ‘sensational’ suggests so, anyway – but he also quickly turns to talking about the group.
Liverpool reportedly value Kent at £12m but Klopp must have wanted a better look at the player before any sale.
Breaking into the side is a mammoth task and we won’t know Klopp’s decision until the end of the window. But with standards what they are, Kent may have to show talents beyond even ‘sensational’ to force his way into Klopp’s plans.