Liverpool’s Ki-Jana Hoever signed a new contract with the club on Wednesday confirming Jurgen Klopp’s huge faith in the player’s potential.
Hoever may well be the reason The Reds didn’t recruit any further cover in the full-back positions during this transfer window.
Alberto Moreno is no longer part of the Liverpool squad, having returned to LaLiga with Villarreal. Nathaniel Clyne, despite impressing early on during the summer fixtures, will not be able to play any part until February at the earliest. This is due to an ACL injury he suffered in the 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund in the US.
Clyne’s injury, in particular, will be of huge interest to those monitoring Hoever’s progress.
Trent Alexander-Arnold took over as Liverpool’s first-choice right-back during the 2017/18 campaign, a position he completely made his own last season as he helped Liverpool to a 97-point haul in the Premier League and a sixth European Cup title.
Despite the fact that Alexander-Arnold is still only 20, there is no dispute about whether he deserves his place in Klopp’s starting eleven. However, with Clyne’s enforced absence, cover at right-back is now something which The Reds simply do not have.
Many expected Liverpool to be forced into a signing after Clyne’s injury. Yet, the news of Hoever’s new three-year contract (the maximum allowed for a first-time professional) coupled with his impressive performance in the 3-1 win over Lyon in Geneva, shows why Klopp and his coaching staff may not have been too concerned with bringing in another right-back.
Hoever played a significant amount of minutes in five of Liverpool’s seven preseason friendlies this summer. He made his first-team debut back in January when Liverpool lost 2-1 to Wolves in the FA Cup.
At 17, the Dutch defender possesses strength and talent that seem to go far beyond his years. What better place to nurture his gift than at Melwood, under the guise of a coach like Klopp and one of the best defenders in the world, his fellow countryman, Virgil van Dijk.
Hoever can play at either right-back or centre-half. Much like with Joe Gomez before him, his strongest position will become more apparent as he ventures towards adulthood and gains further experience with the senior team.
Right now, the world is Hoever’s oyster and he might be one of the reason’s that there’s no need to panic if no signings are made in the next week.