Liverpool’s Academy Director Alex Inglethorpe has waxed lyrical over Kevin Stewart, the currently injured holding midfielder who’s established himself as a first-team option this season.
Many fans hadn’t actually heard of the 22-year-old at the start of the season, but Stewart was withdrawn from a loan spell to play in the FA Cup against Exeter, and did so well he featured against West Ham in the next round as well.
“Kevin is obsessive about improving and getting better,” Inglethorpe told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Obviously I have known him for a long time now, since I coached him at Tottenham.
“He has come in and quietly gone about his work. Last year he had a couple of loan spells to get some game time, and he is someone that I think everyone in Kirkby would agree, staff and players, that Kevin probably sets the example in what an Academy day should look like.
“Kevin is first in and last out and sometimes you have to ask him to slow down and rest up a little bit because he is so determined to succeed.
“For me, Kevin was the example to the rest of the Academy of how you should try to live your life if you are desperate to get where you want to go.”
It’s great to hear how dedicated Stewart is. He did superbly this term when given opportunities, and it’s a big shame an injury curtailed his progress at the end of January.
In February though the young Englishman was awarded a contract until 2020, proving Jurgen Klopp and the club do want him as part of the first-team plans.
Stewart’s been in Tenerife recently where he would have been able to impress Klopp more, with the manager taking those not on international duty away for a short warm weather training break.
It’s unlikely he’ll get another chance before the end of the campaign, but he’ll certainly be involved in pre-season, Klopp’s first since taking over.
If Stewart’s attitude is as good as Inglethorpe suggests, further opportunities under Klopp are inevitable.