Just how good is Kaide Gordon? There’s a lot of hype around Liverpool’s prospect ahead of a potential debut vs Norwich City.
It appears that Kaide Gordon will debut in the EFL Cup on Tuesday against Norwich City. That’s long been the reported plan, with the Liverpool Echo saying as much last month.
That suggests there’s plenty of faith in Gordon but how good is he really?
Derby County breakthrough
Gordon is a 16-year-old winger in Liverpool’s academy. He hasn’t actually been at the club for a full year yet, having arrived from Derby County in early 2021.
But his spell with Derby gives a hint into the teenager’s ability. It’s not often that you sign a 16-year-old with any senior experience, after all, but Gordon had some.
Wayne Rooney handed Gordon his debut back in December last year, bringing him on for a couple of minutes in the Championship. The teenager left an impression on the ex-England forward, too.
“[Gordon] was one of the best trainers,” he said, per Sky Sports.
“I kept him with us for a couple of weeks and he’s been training at the same level – if not to a better level – than a lot of the other [senior] players.”
It’s worth adding that other staff at Derby rated Gordon incredibly highly. Per the Athletic, they felt he was ‘the best 16-year-old in the country’ when he left. He certainly holds that position now.
Rise with Liverpool
Liverpool initially put Gordon in their Under 18s and he spent his first few months there. He started quite slowly, however, and there wasn’t much to shout about.
But then there was an explosion. Gordon suddenly found scoring goals from the wing very easy, scoring back-to-back braces at one point. That earned him a debut for the Under 23s on the final day of last season – and he scored again.
From there came an incredibly promising pre-season and one where Liverpool’s senior players got a good look at him. Virgil van Dijk now sees Gordon as a ‘great talent’ and Trent Alexander-Arnold says he’s got ‘frightening ability’.
Fans, too, were very impressed as they frequently raved about Gordon’s performances in senior friendlies. Basically, everyone who watches the teenager comes away impressed.
So how good is Kaide Gordon?
Gordon doesn’t even turn 17 until early next month but there’s already a sense that he’s ready to affect senior games. That immediately creates a sense that he’s a special talent.
The youngster is quick, capable of dribbling past players and – at youth level, at least – knows how to score goals. Having seen Gordon in friendlies, there’s no doubt that he can run at senior defenders and cause them trouble. It’s the last part – scoring goals – that’s the issue.
Gordon looked nervy in friendlies and missed some chances you’d have liked him to score. The important thing, though, is that he can consistently get into good positions. That’s typically the part young players struggle with when stepping up.
If Gordon finds the composure to score and assist quickly, he’ll be playing Premier League football before the end of the season. If not, then it will be a case of drip-feeding him games in the cups to build confidence.
What we have seen, though, is Gordon’s incredible ability to step up at every level. He’s rapidly reached the expected heights at Derby, Liverpool’s youth teams and in pre-season. That makes you believe he can do it in competitive senior games, too.
So on his current trajectory, Gordon is set to become a fantastic footballer who will be in Liverpool’s first-team. But that relies on him finding his feet at senior level.
Many have failed to make that jump, even after impressing at youth level. If Gordon manages it, though, his ability to develop quickly suggests he’s one of the most high-potential youngsters around right now.