16-year old Dutch defender Ki-Jana Hoever only made his debut for Liverpool under 23s in November but he was thrust into the first-team limelight in the FA Cup third round game against Wolves at Molineux this evening.
The youngster was named on the bench for the game but an early injury for Dejan Lovren meant he made his professional debut just six minutes into the cup tie.
Wearing the No.51 shirt and aged 16 years, 11 months, 20 days, he became Liverpool’s youngest ever player in the FA Cup and the third youngest in the club’s history.
And to make you feel very, very old, Hoever was born in 2002 – his birth coming after classic films such as Shrek and Monsters Inc hit the cinemas – and following on from current teammate James Milner making his Leeds United debut.
Formerly of Ajax, Hoever’s first ever game for the club’s Under 23 outfit was against rivals Everton and he received huge praise from his manager, Neil Critchley.
“Unbelievable. Sixteen. Wow. Considering he played in the week as well….. He tired towards the end which was understandable,” Critchley told Liverpool’s official website.
“But I thought his calmness and assurance, his decision-making, his intelligence without the ball, it was terrific. Playing against a good player, I was very impressed with him indeed.”
Hoever is highly thought of both Jurgen Klopp, who is believed to have allowed Nathaniel Clyne to head on loan to Bournemouth because of his faith in the starlet.
Excitingly for Reds’ fans, he does also appear capable of a mean free-kick.
Remember the name…