Academy Players to Look Out for in the New Year: Ki-Jana Hoever
Ki-Jana Hoever is a Dutch defender Liverpool signed from Ajax in the summer transfer window after he was given international clearance to join the Reds. He is capable of playing as a right-back and centre-back.
The 16-year-old was signing that may have gone unnoticed by fans but if they are looking for an indicator of where he could go, it can be shown in the type of clubs interested in the youngster. Manchester City, Chelsea and United were amongst some of the clubs interested in the Dutchman.
He started life at the club under Barry Lewtas in the U18s and played 5 times in the Premier League 2 before he was quickly promoted to Neil Critchley’s U23s. In his debut for the U23s against Everton, he put in a commanding performance and dominated in the air whilst being comfortable with the ball at his feet. The Dutch U17 international has also impressed in 2 UEFA Nations League games against Napoli and PSG.
All these appearances that he has made have both come at right-back or centre-back. This versatility he has shown could be key in the future if he his ever needed as cover for the first team.
Since his arrival at Melwood in September, his rise has been astronomical with how quickly he has been promoted through the ranks. With how quickly he has been moved through the ranks some players may have been phased by it, but not Hoever.
The former Ajax man has been competent when playing for the U23s and looked as though he is a natural at this level despite only being sixteen.
Klopp’s had some trouble with injuries at the back in recent weeks with Gomez, Matip and Alexander-Arnold all picking up injuries. This had led to Hoever being handed a promotion to first-team training, completing his astronomical rise since his arrival.
Fast paced but deserved promotions through the ranks at Melwood, should be an indicator of his talents as a defender and a reason why fans should keep an eye on his development at Melwood in 2019.