Ovie Ejaria will only be considered as a first-team option for Liverpool when he improves his end product: goals and assists.
This is according to Neil Critchley, Liverpool’s U23 manager, who was speaking following the teenager’s goal against Manchester United earlier this week.
Ejaria skinned a defender and finished expertly into the bottom corner during our 3-1 win, raising the question why a player with so much talent has only just got off the mark for the campaign.
”Goals is something Ovie wants to add to his game so he has to put his talent into numbers in terms of goals and assists so he makes an impact on the game,” Critchley told Liverpoolfc.com.
”You know when he is faced with a defender, one-v-one in the penalty area, you sort of feel sorry for the defender because you know there is only going to be one outcome.
”Ovie knows he has got to do a little bit more in terms of his assists and goals because it’s a way of getting noticed and getting yourself into the manager’s thoughts.”
We’ve always thought very highly of Ejaria when he’s been selected by Jurgen Klopp, but central midfield is such a pivotal position, especially in the Premier League, that we need to make sure he’s 100% ready.
Technically and physically he possesses all the traits a midfielder needs, but he needs to add leadership and battling qualities to his game – as well as the end product Critchley discusses.
As we’re out of the League Cup, we don’t expect to see Ejaria much this term – meaning a loan spell in the second half of the season may do him good.
Perhaps to a decent Championship side, as a bottom half Premier League club would be unlikely to risk him.