Among the recent crop of LFC youngsters that impressed, Ovie Ejaria has had a rough time breaking into this squad. Which makes sense: a versatile midfielder capable of playing in attack, he had a tall order to stand displace a crowded field in the positions he preferred. With the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sadio Mane, James Milner, and Adam Lallana ahead of him, Ejaria was intimately familiar with the log jam known to most footballing prospects across Europe.
It was in the hopes of escaping that bottle-neck and earning a bit of playing time that Ejaria went out on loan to Sunderland in the Championship during the latter half of the season. Sunderland’s season ended up a bit of a disaster as the club’s poor results sees them drop down to League One, just one season removed from being in the Premier League. Ovie Ejaria’s decision to gut it out with the Black Cats, though, seems to have been a solid choice as England U-21 skipper Aidy Boothroyd saw enough in his 11 appearances to select him as a member of the squad to participate in this summer’s Toulon Tournament. Ejaria is credit with one goal to his name during that period of play.
The Toulon Tournament is a prestigious national tournament with a rich history. Originally started as a club tournament before turning into a national tournament, it is a friendly tournament, taking place free of the oversight of FIFA and any individual footballing association or federation. It is then regarded as the most prestigious friendly, U-21 history in the world.
All of us here at TLO wish Ovie all the best as he hopes to secure a trophy for his nation.