Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for Pedro Chirivella, despite the teenager’s disappointing Premier League debut versus Swansea City on Sunday.
The 18-year-old started in central midfield alongside Kevin Stewart, but was hauled at 45 minutes and replaced by Lucas after he totally failed to get going.
Chirivella has done well when called upon in Cup matches this term, but was sadly out of his depth at the Liberty Stadium.
“He is a wonderful player, he is a passing player, he is a big talent and today he forgot to orientate himself and that’s usually his big strength,” Klopp told the Echo.
“He’s really cool, calm with the ball, but today it was not a game for that.
“That’s only one game in his long football career so that’s not a problem but for today, it was obviously not too easy for him.”
Hopefully the first-half won’t do too much damage to Chirivella’s confidence. Importantly, it’s clear Klopp rates him quite highly, or he wouldn’t have started him in the first place or responded with such kind words after the game.
The teenager is technically excellent, but couldn’t find the right spaces to position himself against Swansea and we were overrun as a result.
With not much left to play for in the Premier League, he might get another opportunity to show fans what he can do before the end of the season – perhaps against Watford next weekend.
The regular first-teamers will play against Villarreal in the Europa League semi, meaning Klopp may give the youngsters a chance to right the wrongs of Sunday at home to the out of form Hornets.