Leighton Clarkson, who starts in the Champions League for Liverpool tonight in Denmark, earned the praise of Jurgen Klopp’s assistant manager, Pep Lijnders.
The Dutchman was commenting on the midfielder’s time training with the first team, where he has impressed with his mature play.
“Leighton sees with his own eyes the constant runs of Sadio and Mo in behind,” Lijnders previously told the Echo. “He has the capacity to play the passes these type of forwards like to receive, he is the type of number six we really like, one who can dictate but dictate with direction, who can speed up the tempo of the positional play, the one who has always time on the ball.”
With such a glowing reference from Klopp’s No.2, it’s hard not to be excited about the Reds’ latest Champions League debutant, who we haven’t seen since the fourth round replay of the FA Cup at Shrewsbury last season.
Though he may need a few years to build the frame necessary to be a force in the first XI, Leighton has all the motivation he needs behind him – in Trent Alexander-Arnold, and with Curtis Jones and Neco Williams available on the bench – as proof that talent does ultimately pay off in the long run.
If the Englishman could follow the roadmap left by his peers and catch the eye of Jurgen Klopp with a promising performance against Midtjylland, there’s no reason why he couldn’t potentially see himself standing alongside the Academy graduates in the near future.
It’s a lot to ask, but the pathway is there, and we can’t wait for the action to begin to catch another look at the No.65.