Liverpool are reportedly close to agreeing the sale of Ki-Jana Hoever to Wolves. It’s a deal that makes sense – even if the player is a huge talent.
The Daily Mail claims that Wolves are close to signing Hoever. The young defender would cost around £10m, leaving Liverpool after two years aged just 18.
It’s a shame, of course. Hoever is a very talented player and one we saw a bright future for. Capable of playing both right-back and centre-half, he seemed a natural long-term successor for Joe Gomez, or even a potential partner.
But it seems it’s not to be. But despite his ability, it’s a sale that makes complete sense.
The biggest problem Hoever faces at Liverpool is competition. It’s difficult to see how he breaks into the team anytime soon. And while he’s a natural successor in defence, he needs to play in order to develop as a player.
He could have all the potential in the world but if he can’t play, he can’t reach it. Then Liverpool don’t have a player with great potential, they have a stunted youth player.
Hoever can even play two positions but the other talent is young enough and good enough that he won’t play anytime soon. Trent Alexander-Arnold is still only 21 and his backup, Neco Williams, is barely older than Hoever.
Centre-half isn’t easy, either. Gomez is 23 – he’s staying around for a while. And Hoever would have competition in Billy Koumetio and Sepp van den Berg for a long-term place.
And when you look at it like that, selling one of the youngsters is just sensible.
Room to grow
A sale for any of the youngsters benefits the others – it just happens to be Hoever. The Dutchman leaving means both Koumetio and Van den Berg have an easier path to games – even if that’s just in the cup competitions over the next two years.
Instead of splitting time between three players, it’s just two. And that should help guarantee that at least one develops properly – you don’t have that guarantee when trying to stretch the minutes among a trio.
So yes, Liverpool will lose a very talented youngster. But hopefully, long-term, the sale makes it easier to produce elite talent from another teenager.