Young full-back Brad Smith is set to make his home debut against Exeter in the FA Cup third round replay at Anfield on Wednesday evening.
It is a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the 21-year-old, who technically left the club last summer when his contract expired. We didn’t actually deregister him, however, as we hoped we’d be able to pick up a tribunal fee if another club came knocking.
Fast-forward to November and the impasse was still on-going – but the arrival of Klopp and the onset of our injury crisis eventually saw his representatives agree upon a new deal with the club. It provided the Aussie with a rare second chance.
“Was I worried it was the end? Yes definitely,” said Smith. “A lot of things go through your mind when things like that are happening.” (via Echo)
“You don’t know what is going to happen, it is hard, hard for your family and friends. The way it has gone it is working out. I was living with my mum at the time and I was speaking to staff at Liverpool throughout the whole time.”
“I am just glad the way it has turned out.”
No sooner had the ink dried on the new contract and Smith was in the match-day squad, coming on as a 77th minute sub in our 6-1 League Cup quarter-final win against Southampton and setting up Divock Origi for his hat-trick goal.
Since then he’s featured against West Ham in the league, and started against Sion in Europa League and against Exeter in the FA Cup – grabbing his first senior goal in the process.
He admits his full debut against Sion was his career highlight so far, but added he was thrilled to get off the mark in front of goal.
“There was the goal as well. I don’t usually score which is why my celebration was a bit poor, but it was good to get my first goal for Liverpool.”
“[The replay] will be a huge occasion. Let’s see what team the manager wants to put out, but it would be a special moment for me and a lot of the young lads if we get another chance to walk out at Anfield.”
Do you think Smith has a future at the club? Let us know in the comments.