Liverpool youngster Sheyi Ojo is due to return to the first-team setup in the near future, following reassurance from Jurgen Klopp.
Ojo spent the first four months of the campaign on the sidelines with a back injury picked up in pre-season, but has since returned to fitness.
The 19-year-old has made two appearances for the Liverpool U23s so far this season, playing his first full 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw with West Brom U23s on December 6.
That performance served as a reminder of Ojo’s ability, laying on Cameron Brannagan’s equaliser with a perfectly weighted pass for his first assist of 2016/17.
Klopp will have noted his progress, and speaking to the Liverpool Echo on Thursday, Ojo revealed that he had spoken to the Liverpool manager, and been assured of a first-team place.
“[Klopp] has mentioned to me that he wants to give me an opportunity which is nice,” he said.
“I’m grateful for that because as a young player you don’t get many opportunities at a massive club like Liverpool.
“So I have to knuckle down, keep working hard and get as many minutes as I can with the reserves and try and prove to the manager that I’m ready. Hopefully I’ll get my opportunity soon.”
The former MK Dons youngster faces tough competition for a regular role under Klopp.
But with Sadio Mane set to depart for the Africa Cup of Nations in January, and Philippe Coutinho out with an ankle injury, there is opportunity for him to stake his claim.
Ojo’s opportunity could come against either Newport County or Plymouth Argyle on January 8, as the Reds begin their FA Cup campaign in the third round—just three days before the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at Southampton.
From there, Ojo can hope to recapture the fine form that saw him score once and assist four times in 11 games for the first team, averaging a goal or assist every 90 minutes.
Continuing to address the challenge ahead of him, Ojo underlined his belief that he can contribute to a successful season on Merseyside.
“I feel like I have what it takes to play for Liverpool and now it is up to me to work hard and prove to the manager, to the fans, to everyone that I can do it,” he added.
“I believe in myself 100 percent and I know that if I keep my head down and I keep working hard I’ll be able to achieve what I want this season.
“The team are doing really well and picking up points, [but] it’s important that we stay consistent and we don’t get too carried away with the results we’re getting at the moment.
“We need to keep working hard in training, listen to what the manager wants us to do and hopefully it’ll be a good season for us.”
Ojo is one of the only natural wingers at Klopp’s disposal, and after a breakthrough period at the end of 2015/16, he can hope this will give him an advantage on his comeback from injury.