Liverpool's summer transfer business included the signing of a few youth prospects meant for the future. Young defender Joe Gomez managed to find his way into Brendan Rodgers' side before sustaining a season ending injury, but Gomez's fellow 18 year-old Allan Rodrigues de Souza found himself immediately sent out on loan to Finnish side Seinäjoen Jalkapallokerho.
Operating on a spring through fall schedule, the Finnish Veikkausliiga has just wrapped up its season and Rodrigues can now count a league champions medal as the first piece of silverware in his senior career. Scoring two goals and five assists over eight games in two months, Rodrigues considers the experience to have been incredibly important to his development. The Brazilian youngster seems to have settled into European football quickly, and the source of his contentment will be unsurprising to many.
"I was a little bit scared as [the transfer to Liverpool] was out of the blue," Rodrigues told Liverpool's official website, "but I received a warm welcome from the Brazilians [Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino] when I first got here. They took me to their houses, asked me if I needed anything and gave me all the support they could.
"They said I could rely on them for anything I needed. They were also very helpful in training and assisted me with the language – in fact, they couldn’t have done more than they did. They are wonderful people and I know I can count on them. I’ve been in touch with them regularly and Lucas recently said in an interview that I’m a great prospect, which made me feel happy."
Rodrigues will get ten days off before returning to Liverpool until January when the club are reportedly looking to send him back out on loan to further his development. For now, it means a bit of well deserved rest and relaxation and perhaps a few in-person Monopoly games at the Leiva home to make up for all the evenings he no doubt had to Skype into family game night.