The January transfer window has already been a busy one for the Reds. Liverpool have loaned out Rhian Brewster to Swansea, Isaac Christie-Davies to Cercle Brugge and Herbie Kane to Hull City – they have also signed Takumi Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg and Joe Hardy from Brentford. Neil Critchley has given his verdict on Joe Hardy after his debut for the U23s.
Hardy was signed for an undisclosed fee from Brentford. The 21-year-old striker began his youth career with Tranmere Rovers before being snapped up by Manchester City aged 13 – he joined Brentford aged 18.
His record is impressive, Hardy bagged 40 goals in 80 games for Brentford’s B team and his goals to game ratio for Manchester City’s under 18s hints that he is some player.
There were raised eyebrows when Liverpool announced the signing of the young striker. Contrasting theories have been touted, some have suggested he was bought with the intention of providing cover for Rhian Brewster whilst he is at Swansea City – others have theorised that the Reds recruitment team crunched the numbers and liked his stats.
Neil Critchley was impressed by Joe Hardy after his debut against Athletic Bilbao in the Premier League International Cup. The Reds slumped to a 2-1 defeat with many key players missing but Critchley took the time to sing Hardy’s praises, telling the ECHO:
“I thought he showed his qualities…He is good at keeping the ball and linking the play and he is bright around the goal. He nearly got a goal for us early on with a good bit of movement down the side and I think in a couple of weeks time when he is a bit sharper, he will get his shot off a bit quicker and he is a finisher. I think he will score them [in the future].”
What RTK has to say
It’s good to hear that Hardy impressed on his first outing. Whilst there are still question marks over what the future holds for the 21-year-old, it is encouraging that he has got off to a good start with the U23s.
Fingers crossed Hardy does have a role to play for the first team, it would be brilliant to see him bang in a winner against Manchester City after they let him go.