Official: Liverpool sign US starlet Villyan Bijev & loan him to Fortuna Dusseldorf

The 18-year-old scored on average a goal a game last season in America and joins the Reds after impressing on trial this summer, but has not been given a work permit

Liverpool have signed young American striker Villyan Bijev from US side California Odyssey.

After impressing on a trial period at Melwood, scoring five goals in two games for the Reds in July, the youngster has now signed a three-year deal with the club.

The 18-year-old netted over 20 goals for his side at under-16 level, averaging a goal a game and was voted into the national starting XI at the under-18 rank.

However, Bijev has yet to be handed a work permit to play in England and has been loaned out to Fortuna Dusseldorf.

JR Eskilson, of USA, says Bijev is a "very gifted" player who can operate as a striker or in midfield, with good technique and a goalscoring mentality, although he is not the strongest in possession.

"In brief terms, he is very gifted," he said. "He has a deft touch, nose for the goal, and is deceivingly elusive for a player of his stature. He is making a big jump in terms of quality from a playing standpoint, but he is a very determined young man who comes from an educated family (in terms of soccer and smarts) and he is taking calculated risks for the better of his long-term career.

"He will do extremely well as long as he is placed in the right environment to help his development."