Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has given teenage defender Ki-Jana Hoever a big billing ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, with the Dutch starlet considered to be “sensational”.
The 17-year-old made a step up onto the senior stage with the Reds last term, making his competitive debut during an FA Cup clash with Wolves.
He did not look fazed by the challenge put in front of him and remains one of the most highly-regarded academy graduates at Anfield.
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Hoever is expected to kick on in the current season, having been joined on Merseyside by fellow countryman Sepp van den Berg, and continues to be tipped for the very top.
Klopp believes the youngster will get there as his development to this point has been remarkable.
The German admits it is difficult to comprehend that Hoever is still so young, given the qualities he has to offer, and is excited by what he can bring to the Liverpool cause heading forward.
Klopp told the Reds’ official website of a hot prospect who has featured in five pre-season outings this summer: “Ki-Jana is a wonderful kid and a sensational young player who can learn so much.
“Especially in the Napoli game when he came on, on the left side, it was maybe his best 15 minutes in the pre-season.
“The boys try to adapt to what we ask them for; we don’t tell them too much because we want them young and fresh and open.
“Take the information from the training pitch because if I tell them something, they are like soldiers and it’s not the right thing.
“Information is not there to delete all the other information you had before and to start thinking what the boss wants.
“They are with us. They had all the development they did without me – and that’s why we let them go [early from the Evian training camp].
“You can from time to time, especially the physical demands were really heavy for him to take.
“You forget so quickly these boys are so young. He’s still 17, it’s just crazy. But everything will be fine, he’s a fantastic footballer and I’m really happy that we have him for longer.”