Kaide Gordon made his debut for Liverpool U23s on Monday evening and marked the appearance with a goal. The 16-year-old continues to impress.
Liverpool Under 23s closed out their season on Monday evening with a 2-0 win over Leicester City. It saw the Reds finish 7th in Premier League 2, leapfrogging Manchester United at the death.
They also used the opportunity to hand a debut to Kaide Gordon for the U23s. Gordon arrived from Derby County in January but has played Under 18 level up until now.
He’s been playing very, very well at that level, too. The raw figures explain as much – six goals and two assists in his last four games.
But this was to be expected, in all truth. Gordon arrived at Liverpool with a big reputation for a player his age. Manager Wayne Rooney said the teenager was one of the best trainers at Derby, while a source from the club told the Athletic that Gordon was ‘the best 16-year-old in the country’.
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Liverpool clearly believed they were getting a real talent here, but they started him off slow. In some ways, they pushed him back a level or two – Gordon had already made his senior debut at Derby.
The Reds put him in the U18s, however, to spectacular but expected results. Now, though, they’ve tried him at a slightly higher level with the U23s.
So the fact they only gave him 19 minutes and he found the net is a sign that Gordon will make that step look effortless next season. We imagine the plan is for him to play a lot more U23 football over the 2021/22 campaign.
And if he takes to that quickly, who knows? Perhaps he’s playing at Anfield for the senior team by the end of that term, even for just a few token minutes to get a taste.
Honestly, the ceiling here is huge. Gordon clearly has the talent and Liverpool are already seeing the benefits of giving teenagers senior football early on.
There are examples in the first team, while Harvey Elliott is off doing remarkable things in the Championship at just 18. Perhaps that’s Gordon’s future, too.
Time will tell, of course, with this step up to U23 level being the big tell. If Gordon takes to it as well as he has everything else, we’ll see quick progression up the ranks.
His debut goal suggests that will be the case.