Liverpool midfielder Jordan Rossiter has been backed to go on to become a regular in the side by ex-youth coach Hugh McAuley.
The teenager made his Premier League debut on Monday night as a second substitute in the 0-0 draw against Arsenal when he replaced Lucas Leiva.
And McAuley, who coached the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen in the academy, has said that the quality of Rossiter was always there to see.
“We always knew about Jordan’s enthusiasm and ability and that has eventually got him to where he is now.” he said.
“He has a real hunger and passion to play the game as well as to do the right things on the football pitch and to work hard.
“It’s so pleasing to see a local lad come through with all that spirit and ability and for Brendan to give him that opportunity. Brendan is an experienced man and he’ll play Jordan if he thinks it is right. He’ll also pick what games Jordan is involved in and hopefully give him that steady progress which will hopefully benefit him in the future.
“It’s great for Brendan, the academy director Alex Inglethorpe and all the other staff as they’ve all had an input into his development. Jordan is now regularly at Melwood with all the first team, so Brendan and his staff will be working with him and helping him every day.
“There are people in his corner wanting him to do very, very well. They will be patient with him and give him the games to show what he’s all about. But he’ll have to prove to them he is learning the game and, if he does so, I am sure a connection with the supporters will soon follow.
“Liverpool supporters love local lads playing in the team because that’s an identity. They are the icon, they are the local lad who has made good and for all the upcoming young players that go to Anfield to watch Liverpool play, there’s a player in the team just like them.
“The supporters will latch onto him very quickly and give him the time to be successful. Having said that, everyone goes to Anfield to see Liverpool win, that’s the way it is.
“Jordan will get opportunities and he will have to deliver because the demands are so great for the first team to do well. He has already shown he can handle that situation and let’s hope he can go on throughout the season and get several opportunities when the manager thinks he’s ready to stay for longer periods in the first team and show his worth.
“You don’t get any free passes when you play for Liverpool. You are always in the team on merit and for the likes of Jordan to get in now is fantastic. Brendan knows he’s got ability and can pass the ball. His football intelligence on the pitch is superb and he does the simply things perfectly all the time.
“The best Liverpool players or scouse players, who have come through the youth system, have always shown that individual confidence to go and express themselves.
“Jordan is not fazed by being in that company of international and world class players because he’s got that confidence in his own ability to stand his ground and deliver on the pitch at Anfield or wherever he’s got to play.” he finished.
McAuley now runs The Hugh McAuley Football Academy soccer camps and further information can be found at HughMcAuleyfootball.com