The best part of preseason is getting the chance to watch the yearly progression of the Academy players. This summer, one of kids who caught everyone’s attention is young Kaide Gordon. The 16-year-old winger is a relatively new recruit, joining the team from Derby County in the winter.
While he may be young, Liverpool always have their eyes on wingers to take the place of our veterans whenever it’s necessary.
However, the club is keen to foster Gordon’s growth without the pressure and weight of fan expectations pushed onto him.
Speaking with the ECHO, the Liverpool U18s boss Marc Bridge-Wilkinson talked about this.
“At the minute he is with the first team and hopefully as things carry on, who knows what might happen. If and when he comes back to us [at U18 level], we will look after him just the same and keep working on his game,” Bridge-Wilkinson said.
The plan for Gordon to move between the U18s, U23s and the first team highlights the importance of the club’s new training facilities. Now, instead of the academy training away from the first team, all of the players are in the same place. This will help to ease the transition for Gordon and other players who are on the fringe and prepared to start moving up the ranks.
“That is the beauty of being in the same building; the plan is really clear, and staff are working together. It is an exciting time for him and let’s see where it goes,” explained U23s manager Barry Lewtas.
The first step for Gordon will be to sign a professional contract when he turns 17 years old this fall. After that, we all share the hope that Gordon has the makings of a future success straight out of the academy.