You could say it has been a good week for Tyler Morton.
A goal in a Merseyside derby on Monday, a new five-year contract on Thursday. The Liverpool youngster’s steady progress continues.
They are not short of talent up at Kirkby, but the early signs are that Morton, a Wirral-born midfielder who has been with Reds since the age of seven, is certainly one to watch.
He only turned 18 in October, but he is already making his mark at Under-23 level. His performance against Everton this week, which included a superbly-placed first-time finish into the top corner to earn his side a 1-1 draw, served only to underline his potential.
His coaches, including U23s boss Barry Lewtas, certainly see it. Morton started this season with Liverpool’s U18s side, but has been asked to step up a level in recent months with the likes of Jake Cain and Leighton Clarkson, who made his Champions League debut for the Reds last month, training with Jurgen Klopp’s senior squad.
Cain, Clarkson and Morton formed Lewtas’ midfield trio against Everton on Tuesday, and it was telling that the Reds bossed the game as they did in difficult conditions against what was on paper a vastly more experienced side.
“It’s easy to gel with Leighton and Jake to be honest,” Morton said. “They’re similar players, they play a similar style.”
So what is his style, then?
"I'm more of a box-to-box midfielder,” he says. “I love a tackle. People are always shocked when they see me tackle, but I’ve seen loads of them!
"I'm not just a playmaker. I like to think I can do a bit of everything.”
Born in Wallasey, Morton came through with Max Woltman, a young striker who signed his first professional contract with Liverpool this week, and Lewis Warrington, who is now at Everton. The three played for Greenleas FC, whose alumni include Jay Spearing, the ex-Liverpool and current Tranmere Rovers midfielder.
Morton grew up a Liverpool fan. He, his dad and his brother were Anfield season-ticket holders.
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“Anfield Road end, front row,” he smiles. “It wasn’t the Kop but we had an unbelievable view of the players.”
Steven Gerrard, naturally, was his hero growing up, but there is a new midfield idol in town these days.
“It’s Thiago now!” he says, his eyes lighting up. "It's hard to take your eyes off him when he's playing.
“Sometimes you find yourself trying to copy the things he does - rolling the ball under my studs, no-look passes, that kind of thing! What a player.”
His enthusiasm is endearing, and it is clear that he is developing nicely. Liverpool do not hand out five-year contracts to just anybody. They rate Morton, and are keen to see how he progresses in coming months.
He has already played – and scored - in the UEFA Youth League, and has been on the bench in the Football League Trophy too. He seems to have a knack for derby goals as well, having scored in a 6-1 win at Everton for the U18s last season.
"I had to find my feet at U18s because I got a knee injury while at the U16s and didn't play for them,” he says. “But I made an impact with the U18s, and when you start playing more then you become more confident in yourself.
"Now I've taken the step up to the 23s, I am having to find my feet again.”
So far so good, in that regard.Liverpool FC/Goal
"Obviously, there are better players at U23 level,” he says, when asked about the step up. “It's quicker, and I like it because it's one and two-touch and it suits my game more.
“You don't have any time on the ball, you have to find the pass, and you have to have excellent vision to find those passes. It's a higher level.”
A higher level, but one he is handling.
We have not heard the last of Tyler Morton, one suspects.