Neil Jones has singled out one of Liverpool’s up-and-coming talents for praise following his recent blooding into the first team at Anfield.
With Ibrahima Konate injured and Virgil van Dijk picking up a suspension after his red card at Newcastle, Jarell Quansah has appeared off the bench in the Reds’ last two games, helping his team to eventual victory in both.
Speaking exclusively to Empire of the Kop’s Substack, the journalist was eager to praise the contribution of the 20-year-old following his first couple of senior appearances for the club.
Jones said of the defender: “He’s looked really assured, hasn’t he? Had a couple of sub appearances and, of course, it’s early days, but he’s not put a foot wrong. Good on him! It’s another good sign for the Academy.”
The reporter added: “You look at Quansah and he looks like a man to me! He’s big and strong, he looks like he’s happy to do the battles and get up for headers.
“He’s going in the right direction but it will take a bit of time until Jarell Quansah is what he will be, which could be one of a Liverpool centre-back, a Premier League-level centre-back or less or more. We don’t know but he’s going in the direction and good on him!”
Jones is understandably reticent to go overboard in praising Quansah, but everything he’s said about the 20-year-old is fair.
Although the defender featured for Liverpool’s first team during pre-season, he’s been thrown in at the deep end when it came to his competitive bow, coming on when the Reds were down to 10 men against Newcastle and then replacing the stricken Trent Alexander-Arnold in Sunday’s win over Aston Villa.
The youngster can feel pleased with what he contributed across those two games, completing 89% of his passes, winning one tackle and making one ball recovery (Sofascore).
Klopp obviously won’t want to burden Quansah too quickly, although a series of defensive absences at the moment have helped to fast-track his introduction to the senior ranks and could see him featuring a few more times throughout the autumn.
We’ve seen the likes of Trent, Curtis Jones and Stefan Bajcetic come through the Liverpool academy to establish themselves in the first team in recent years, and the 20-year-old defender could well be the next in line to do so.
He’s looked very capable so far, and with careful management his career should certainly continue progressing in the right direction.