Liverpool are just one game away from becoming world champions for the first time in the club’s illustrious 127-year history. The European champions will face Brazilian outfit Flamengo in the FIFA Club World Cup final on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side progressed to their first CWC final since 2005 after beating Monterrey 2-1 on Wednesday evening. Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino were on the scoresheet as an injury-riddled Liverpool side limped over the line.
UEFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk missed the match through illness meaning club captain Jordan Henderson had to cover in central defence.
Since the semi-final victory, Klopp has flown out Netherlands duo Ki-Jana Hoever and Sepp van den Berg to Qatar to help cover the defensive void. Both of the Liverpool U23 regulars started in the 5-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Tuesday.
Hoever, 17, was amongst those in Friday morning’s open training session and took to social media ahead of Saturday’s final. The Netherland U18 star’s post received a response from RB Leipzig youngster and fellow countryman Noah Ohio.
The former Manchester City and United academy responded by posting the clapping emoji to his international compatriot. He signed for the Bundesliga leaders back in July in an attempt for regular first-team football.
Ohio, 16, is one of the highest-rated youngsters in Europe. According to Sky Sports, the teenager turned down a contract at Manchester City back in the summer and has even featured for England at U16 level.
Eligible to represent the Netherlands, England and Nigeria at international level Ohio joined Manchester United in 2015 before moving to rivals City the following year.
He is back playing for the Dutch youth team and is a close friend of Liverpool’s Hoever. With his international compatriots Van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum currently thriving at the home of the Champions League winners and fellow Dutchman Van den Berg also making the switch to Merseyside in the summer, it will be interesting to whether Liverpool monitor the progress of the Bundesliga prodigy.