Barry Lewtas has shared his delight for Layton Stewart after the 19-year-old scored for Liverpool U23s for the first time in 13 months last night.
Speaking to liverpoolfc.com after The Young Reds beat Leicester City 4-0, Lewtas couldn’t hide his joy for Stewart to score after his long injury lay-off.
“It was so nice to see Layton score as he has been out for a while,” said the coach. “It was a great goal, a great finish and a different type of Layton goal, to be fair, with a shot from distance.
“The celebrations with the lads told its own story and it was lovely to see. It’s been a long road for him but he has done really well.”
Lewtas praised Stewart’s hard-work as well as the physio team at Liverpool to get the striker back after his ACL injury last year.
“Layton has worked so hard, and full credit to Paul Kelly and Scott McAuley, who have done a brilliant job with him to get him back,” he said.
Here’s to many more goals ahead.
The goal machine returns
It was a great moment for Stewart who had been rattling in the goals before his untimely injury.
As Liverpool have seen before with Paul Glatzel, such an unfortunate injury at this young stage of a player’s career can be difficult to overcome. In that respect, Stewart looks to be on the right path.
The youngster had been likened to Fernando Torres for his past performances (The Athletic). But in his absence, another goalscoring phenomenon has been unearthed at Liverpool.
Oakely Cannonier has already passed the 40-goal mark for The Reds underage sides this season. If he and Stewart can start to combine, Liverpool could nurture a partnership for the ages.
They’ll be aiming to catch Jurgen Klopp’s eye to make up part of his pre-season tour squad.
Elliott shows his class
As well as Stewart, there was another particularly noteworthy inclusions in Lewtas’ eleven against Leicester: Harvey Elliott.
It could be reasonable that the 19-year-old would be disappointed by this surprising turn of events. But instead of sulking, Lewtas claims that Elliott’s attitude has been impeccable.
“The likes of Harvey and Rhys Williams want to play and get their minutes, they want to stay sharp and if they are called upon by our manager, they want to be ready,” he said.
“Harvey’s attitude and his performance, he is a credit to himself and a credit to the club as well,” he said.
After such a long time out through injury, Elliott’s rhythm has been badly affected. Although he played well enough after his return in January, with Liverpool competing on three fronts, they need players who are firing on all cylinders.
It’s important the the teenager keeps his eye in ahead of a big pre-season in the summer. If he continues to apply himself, perhaps he can still find a way back into Klopp’s thoughts for the big games ahead.