After turning in a solid performance against Bordeaux in the Europa League last week, Jordan Rossiter is expected to be given the start against Carlisle in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday. The 18-year-old won over the coaching staff and earned a first team role during pre-season, and his status as a local talent certainly won't hurt his cause with the supporters.
"I'm a big fan," coach Gary McAllister said at the pre-match press conference when asked about Liverpool's rising star midfielder. "It's always important the fans have a local lad to have that connection to, and he was excellent in the game last week. He's tenacious and the sort of player who always wants to listen and learn. Every day he's out there on the training ground working on things."
Rossiter's status as a talented local long believed to have a future in Liverpool's midfield has at times led to the inevitable Steven Gerrard comparisons. Many, though, have watched his development and seen a player more suited to a deep role than the driving Gerrard, who arrived on the scene always looking to push his team and teammates forward. By comparison, Rossiter can seem reserved.
He's always stood out for his ability to read the game, both with and without the ball, and while lacking the sheer physical talent of a player like Gerrard, his technique and tactical ability has always had him near the top rung of academy starlets. He seems most suited, though, to becoming something of a cultured destroyer—and he certainly looked every inch the capable Lucas stand-in against Bordeaux.
Wherever he ends up, though, the hope and expectation remains that Rossiter has the talent and ability to grow into a mainstay at the club; a homegrown talent who can anchor the midfield for a decade or more. He may still have a long way to go to achieve that, but having impressed the coaches and turned in a top class performance in Europe last week, he's at the very least on the right track.
"All the coaching staff are happy with him," McAllister added. "I also see it as a big boost for the academy. All the big clubs want to get some locals into the first team, and Jordan's progress bodes well for everybody down at the academy."
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