Leighton Clarkson reminds people at Liverpool of Philipp Lahm, according to a report. The teenager debuted in the Champions League this week.
This comes from the Athletic. They say that people at Liverpool nicknamed Leighton Clarkson after Phillip Lahm thanks to his build and style of play.
Jurgen Klopp hinted at this ahead of that Midtjylland game. He teased a similarity between Clarkson and a ‘famous player’ from Germany.
The boss didn’t want to put too much pressure on Clarkson, however, and held the name back.
“In Germany, there’s a famous player who played similar to him,” said Klopp, per that same Athletic article. “You might have to go back a little longer and I don’t want to put pressure on the boy but he reminds me a lot of him.”
It goes hand in hand with Clarkson’s style. Liverpool supposedly see him as a very versatile player but one who should thrive as a ‘No.6’ – i.e. a deep midfielder in a midfield three.
That’s a position Lahm himself grew into under Pep Guardiola, having started his career successfully as a full-back.
It appears Clarkson is simply destined for that role from the get-go, however. He played the whole 90 minutes there against Midtjylland.
We think he looks like a natural for a 4-2-3-1, though. His slight build may leave him looking quite isolated against physical midfielders, meaning the right partner could give him some freedom.
But honestly, if Liverpool think Clarkson is good enough, he’ll succeed in any system they want him to. The club has a knack for developing players – rapidly, sometimes – and they’ll surely mould Clarkson into being the player they want.
And if that player in any way resembles Lahm, then we’re all in for a treat.