Liverpool youngster and January recruit Joe Hardy continues to impress since making the decision to link-up with the European champions and Premier League champions-elect last month.
The 21-year-old joined up with Neil Critchley and the young Reds having been a prominent figure of Brentford’s B team, where he managed 40 goals in 80 games in west London.
Whilst regular Anfield onlookers are unlikely to see much of Hardy this season, given he’s been signed to bolster the club’s Under-23 ranks, he is still a player that should be monitored with a watchful eye.
Here’s everything you need to know about the forward.
Who is Joe Hardy?
Originally located not too far from Anfield hailing at the Wirral, Hardy started his career at Manchester City, joining the current PL holders as a youth player in 2015.
Hardy clocked up 19 appearances for the Citizens in the Under-18s Premier League, converting 11 times in the process whilst also registering five assists in the 2016/17 campaign.
He quickly made the leap to the club’s U23s set-up making just two appearances before Brentford came knocking on the door leaving Hardy with a huge decision to make.
After making the choice to leave City in the midst of Pep Guardiola’s inaugural season, Hardy chose to join up at Griffin Park in 2017.
Despite not featuring for the first team this season, Hardy bagged three in five appearances for Brentford B.
Style of play
Hardy is your typical No.9 who has a talent for goals.
Since his Liverpool arrival, Hardy has five goals in six appearances under Critchley and was on the scoresheet yet again as the young Reds brushed aside Huddersfield Town at Kirkby on Friday evening.
Direct with his running and good in the air, Hardy has an act for scoring what some would describe as a ‘poacher’s goal’. In one-on-one situations, the striker showcases great maturity and is someone that certainly backs himself when in front of goal.
A chance to learn
Jurgen Klopp has been keen to get young players involved in training sessions throughout his spell as manager and it is highly possible that Hardy could soon be integrated into the first-team set-up.
Leighton Clarkson, Jake Cain and Morgan Boyes have all made cameo appearances with Klopp and Pep Ljinders during senior training sessions whilst Hardy’s U23’s teammates Curtis Jones, Sepp van den Berg, Harvey Elliott, and Neco Williams are all regulars at Melwood.
It is unlikely that Hardy will be amongst the first-team selection for match days but considering he has been at the club just over a month it is important for progression to occur gradually.
Even so, this is a useful chance for him to learn from senior players and for the management to take a closer look at him.