Liverpool take on Arsenal in the EFL Cup this week with the Reds looking to beat the Gunners in this stage of the competition two seasons in a row. It is a typical proving ground for young footballers with fans eager to catch a glimpse of the breakthrough stars. Liverpool starting Billy Koumetio against Arsenal would be a huge statement.
Koumetio at Liverpool
Signed from Orleans FC in France in 2018, 17-year-old Billy Koumetio has been impressing at centre back.
The towering Frenchman had a sterling pre-season, joining the first team at their Austrian training camp and getting regular minutes in friendlies.
Despite a glaring error against Blackpool there were plenty of signs of encouragement from the youngster.
Koumetio v Arsenal
The teenager was recently the feature of The Athletic’s Next Best Thing podcast. In fact, he was the first episode.
Many believe he is being groomed to step into the defence in the coming years with the consensus being that he is perhaps the fifth choice centre back for the season, with Fabinho the fourth choice.
Starting Koumetio against Arsenal would be a massive statement of belief in the youngster.
Playing him against Premier League opposition would be the management showing us just what they think of the wonderkid.
Arsenal would be hands down the toughest opposition that the youngster has faced yet, apart from in training. Last season the Gunners scored five at Anfield in this competition.
It would also be a statement of intent given that Rhys Williams performed well against Lincoln City in the last round.
To displace Williams after such an impressive performance would be the coaches showing us where their priorities lie in terms of young defenders.