Date: 9th January 2019 at 8:22am
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OPINION

Monday was certainly a night to remember for Liverpool youngster Ki-Jana Hoever, as the 16-year-old made his debut off the substitutes bench.

The Dutchman was called into action far earlier than expected after Dejan Lovren went down injured, but he responded superbly, produced a fine display full of vim and vigour.

He is someone who has clearly already impressed manager Jurgen Klopp and, after his performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers, midfielder James Milner is a fan as well.

“I think it’s good for the young boys to come in and get that experience,” the veteran told the Evening Standard. “It’s not good to taste defeat but you normally learn more in a defeat than you do in a win.

“I think you’ve got to look at those boys today and say how well they’ve done. Ki coming on after a minute and playing like he did [was] absolutely outstanding.

“He’s going to be a top, top player you can see that straight away [with] his temperament [and] he’s comfortable on the ball.”

Those are big words from the former Manchester City man, and they place quite a bit of pressure on the youngster. After praise like this, combined with Monday’s display, the expectation is that he’ll have an important career at Anfield.

He showed signs of that on Monday with a mature display at the heart of the defence. Playing alongside midfielder Fabinho he produced a mature performance, rarely looking out of place and bringing the ball out from the back with aplomb.

We fall victim in this country to putting too many expectations on young players too soon, but Hoever looks like a pretty safe bet.

At just 16 years old he has impressed his manager and delighted one of the most senior members of the squad, as well as produced a terrific first team debut.

If ever there was someone who looks set to make a big impact on Merseyside in the coming years you’d have to say it’s Hoever.