Billy Koumetio has been described by Liverpool’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders as a ‘propper talent’ as the 17-year-old looks set to play a more prominent role for Jurgen Klopp’s senior side this season.
The teenager made a big impression during Liverpool’s pre-season camp in Austria last month following impressive performances in arranged friendlies against Stuttgart and RB Salzburg.
Liverpool signed Koumetio from Orleans in 2018, he had previously been with the Olympique Lyonnais academy.
Koumetio was then named as part of Klopp’s Community Shield squad to face Arsenal, and would have featured on the bench against Chelsea last weekend had it not been for a minor injury he sustained in training, claims Neil Jones of Goal.
The German manager’s decision to include teenager Koumetio was telling when you consider Klopp chose to overlook the likes of Nat Phillips, Sepp van den Berg and Ki-Jana Hoever.
The towering French central defender is being assessed ahead of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup clash against Lincoln City on Thursday and Koumetio is likely to make his competitive debut for the club if he is deemed fit enough to feature.
Lijnders confirmed the club were still awaiting an assessment regarding Koumetio’s fitness condition and Klopp’s right-hand man was quick to talk up the defender’s undeniable quality.
“He’s a very tall centre-back, but has a real strength in the air, not only in set-pieces. If you are a pressing team, you have to accept there will be a lot of long balls and second balls, so it’s really important that you have centre-halves that are good in the air.
“Billy, even in the air, can put the ball where he wants to put it. For his age, that’s really good and then you see his physicality, how strong he is.
“We like to give him the opportunity to develop with us and become a strong centre-half for the future for Liverpool FC.”
According to Goal, Liverpool are expected to make wholesale changes during the League Cup clash in midweek with the likes of Adrian, Neco Williams, Curtis Jones, James Milner and Takumi Minamino all pushing for starts.
The report claims there could also be debuts for summer signings Kostas Tsimikas and Diogo Jota.
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