Liverpool may be breaking records left, right and centre in their pursuit of a first league title in 30 years but for some players, the main priority is keeping on the right track in the road to recovery.
For talented Paul Glatzel, this has been a painful reality 12 months after he scoring the winning penalty in the FA Youth Cup final last season.
The German-born attacker’s remarkable rise in the academy set-up was rewarded with a senior bow in the pre-season friendly with Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.
However, sadly for Glatzel, his unwavering determination to impress was hindered by a serious knee injury that very same day.
The setback left the 19-year-old forward contemplating his future and questioning whether his future was in doubt. Jurgen Klopp quickly reassured the player that he was very much in the club’s long-term plans.
Shortly after the injury, Glatzel received a phone call from the FIFA Coach of the Year that would put any initial worries or fears swiftly to bed.
“I had the scan, which revealed I had torn my ACL and damaged the lateral meniscus so I had to have an operation,” Glatzel told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Once I had got my head around it I just had to focus on the gym and try to get back as soon as I can, and I’m on my way now.
“The boss said I was to do my rehab here at Melwood, which gave me a little lift because obviously you are around the [first-team] boys, which was a good feeling at not a good point in my career.
“The boss actually rang me a few days later and told me I was doing my rehab here.
“It was a great feeling, not in terms of what I wanted with being out injured, but it was good to be told by the boss I should do it here and he wanted me to do it here.
“It was a surreal moment when the boss rang me because I didn’t expect it and it was such a great feeling.
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We shouldn’t be surprised following yet another glowing example of why Klopp is a class above the rest.
Rather than leave the teenager contemplating his imminent future, the club awarded Glatzel a long-term deal with the Reds to showcase the belief the club have in the player’s undeniable quality.
Klopp also entrusted the same level of faith in Rhian Brewster when the Englishman suffered a career-threatening injury in 2018. Following the injury, the club quickly tied the current Swansea loanee down to a bumper contract whilst simultaneously moving Glatzel’s fellow forward to the senior Melwood set-up.
With Klopp’s decision to extend his Liverpool contract until 2024, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the manager is making it a priority to ensure the club’s next generation of talent are promptly reminded that Liverpool is the place for them.