Liverpool U23s manager Neil Critchley expects midfielder Ovie Ejaria to leave the club on loan in order to gain valuable first-team experience.
Ejaria was a regular part of Jurgen Klopp‘s plans last season, named in the Reds’ matchday squad on 16 occasions, making five starts and three substitute appearances.
But this term the England youth international has been restricted to academy football, though he has still trained as part of the senior squad.
And speaking this week, Critchley suggested Ejaria will head out on loan as he bids to catch Klopp’s eye.
“The management and first-team staff know Ovie has got a lot of potential and that’s why he has played for the first team and he’s been in and around it,” he said.
“We want him to get there on a permanent basis. It might take him a little bit of time and his pathway might be he goes on loan at some point as well to gain some experience.
“But I’m sure further down the line that opportunity will arise for him.
“Maybe then he will be a bit more streetwise, a bit tougher and he’s ready to take that opportunity. Ovie is a player who benefits from playing game after game.
“Most players feel like that as well and we are just trying to provide a platform for Ovie and challenge him to produce more, because there’s no doubting the boy’s ability.”
Ejaria, who turns 20 in November, is a young midfielder with considerable potential, with his dribbling ability and eye for pass key to his quality in the middle of the park.
While he is a looming physical presence, and it is difficult to wrestle possession from him, it is clear Critchley feels Ejaria needs to add aggression to his game.
The 39-year-old also suggested finding the back of the net on a more regular basis will naturally grab Klopp’s attention.
“Goals is something Ovie wants to add to his game so he has to put his talent into numbers in terms of goals and assists so he makes an impact on the game,” he added.
“You know when he is faced with a defender, one-v-one in the penalty area, you sort of feel sorry for the defender because you know there is only going to be one outcome.
“Ovie knows he has got to do a little bit more in terms of his assists and goals because it’s a way of getting noticed and getting yourself into the manager’s thoughts.”
The U23s play 10 more times before the January transfer window opens, including Sunday’s league clash at home to Leicester City.
This will likely be a pivotal run as Klopp and his backroom staff decide whether the likes of Ejaria and Harry Wilson stay on Merseyside or leave on loan.