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Liverpool Strengthen Young Centre Back Ranks

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Well done, he’s 16.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup Third Round

We’ll be honest here, it’s an FA Cup weekend that doesn’t feature Liverpool. There’s not an awful lot happening right now.

One thing that has happened, though, is that Liverpool have signed a player! Well, he’s a sixteen year old. His name is Billy Koumetio and he’s a centre back. He comes from French second division side US Orleans, where he did not make a senior appearance. Try to contain your excitement.

ESPN FC report that Koumetio has been previously on trial at Liverpool back in 2018 and “travelled with the under-17s squad to Berlin for friendlies in November”.

In what might be more significant news on this front, Ki-Jana Hoever, who showed real promise in the FA Cup third round defeat to Wolves, is set to be offered a professional contract in the summer. Considering he made his senior debut before turning 17, one would like to think he would be interested in staying at the club for an extended period.

Look, we have essentially no idea whether Hoever or Koumetio will make it as professional footballers at the highest level. They don’t even know. There are a million and one things that can go wrong between age 16 and age 24 to totally derail a player’s career. Sometimes they even do everything right and still don’t end up being quite good enough. These are the fine margins of becoming a footballer.

But Liverpool’s desire to recruit these players can only be seen as a positive. With Jurgen Klopp very much intending to stay at the club for a long time, there’s a clear desire to develop youngsters. And with that desire, these players can see that there’s a potential pathway for them to make it here. Liverpool are becoming a very good place for young players to land.

The club is going places. Whether these two are to be around for the long term is an open question, but that they want to be here can only be seen as an endorsement of Liverpool.