Liverpool midfielder Allan Rodrigues made his first appearance for loan club Hertha Berlin on Wednesday evening, suffering a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich.
Allan joined Hertha on a season-long loan in August, having to spend another campaign away from Merseyside in order to secure a work permit.
However, required to play regularly for the Bundesliga side to meet the FA’s specifications, a lack of game time in the opening weeks of the season could have spelled trouble for the Brazilian.
But after spending Hertha’s first three league games and their DFB-Pokal opener on the substitutes’ bench, Allan started in their top-of-the-table clash with Bayern on Wednesday.
Allan started in a midfield three, operating in an deeper role behind former Bayern youngster Mitchell Weiser.
Tasked with threading balls through for Genki Haraguchi, Alexander Esswein and Vedad Ibisevic, however, Allan struggled to impose himself, as Bayern sealed a comfortable victory at the Allianz Arena.
Goals from Franck Ribery, Thiago Alcantara and Arjen Robben saw Bayern stabilise pole position in the German top flight, with Allan culpable for Thiago‘s strike on 68 minutes.
The Brazilian was caught in possession in the box, allowing the former Barcelona midfielder to surge forward and fire a right-footed shot past Rune Jarstein.
This proved to be a disappointing debut for Allan, and saw Hertha relinquish their perfect start to the season.
However, the 19-year-old can be encouraged by his first outing for his loan side, as it represents a major step up from his last six months spent with Belgian side Sint-Truiden.
That Allan is starting and playing the full 90 minutes against one of Europe’s best sides in one of Europe’s top leagues is hugely positive.
Constantly showing for the ball, Allan was the only Hertha player to complete more passes (37) than their goalkeeper, and played more forward passes (20) than any other Hertha midfielder, with only three of his team-mates registering a higher accuracy (86.5%).
This is particularly pertinent given Allan’s age, and gaining such experience at this stage will prove to be a benefit to Liverpool when the youngster eventually turns out under Jurgen Klopp.
The German has already revealed himself as a big admirer of Allan’s ability, and a season spent in his former battleground can only improve this.