Jurgen Klopp has singled out Leighton Clarkson for praise after his impressive showing against Black Rovers on Thursday.
Liverpool beat the Championship side by six goals to nothing with the 18-year-old joining in the party at Anfield.
Clarkson plays more as a defensive midfielder but also possess the qualities to be deployed in a more advanced role. The teenager could be set for am opportunities in the first team having caught his manager’s attention on the friendly.
Describing his side’s sixth goal, the German told Liverpool’s official website : “It is just so nice. Not only the goal, but when you see the situations when he came on, I think the first pass was between the two strikers, he got it in the No.6 position where he is calm, turns and passes the ball out.”
The German also kept special praise for some of the academy players who featured in the game: We can teach the boys a lot, but they have to bring a lot.
“Obviously the basis for Leighton is not too bad and Jake [Cain] did really well, as well. All of the boys.
“For Sepp [Van den Berg] it is always hard for centre-halves. We have four, so sitting outside [but] he looks really promising in training sessions. Ki-Jana, centre-half and right-back and looks really good.
“You see them – when Harvey [Elliott], Curtis [Jones] and Neco [Williams] played, it looked good as well. It’s coming, it’s nice and nice they are here and training with us.
“The way we play helps the players to feel safe; everybody is defending and you should never feel alone in a big area where you have no chance to sort the situation. That’s what I really like and for the boys it was really good.”
Ahead of their Premier League game against Everton on June 21, the German said the game against Blackburn was more than just a warm up for the league’s return.
“It was not only a workout; for us, it was a really important test and we wanted the players to go for 45 minutes [but] because of a few little issues we couldn’t do that, so we didn’t have enough ‘first-team players’, I would say, so that’s why we decided to let three players go for 60 minutes,” he said.
“That’s ok. It looked really good, obviously. It looked really good, pretty much from the beginning. Yes, you have to get used again to playing against a deep-defending side and stuff like this.
“Blackburn had a playing build-up from time to time, so we could work on the high press as well. So [the] counter-press was brilliant, the football was really good, the goals were nice and it was a really good afternoon.
“I am really thankful that Blackburn came here and we could do that, so I wish them all the best.”