Liverpool academy midfielder Abdi Sharif has signed a new contract, signalling his and the club’s intentions to make up for lost time after a nightmare injury.
Sharif was poised to take up a focal role with the under-23s this term when he suffered an ACL injury in the 3-3 draw with Coventry in pre-season.
It was a big blow for the 19-year-old after scoring three goals and laying on a further six in 28 games for the academy in 2018/19, with his energetic, box-to-box style a crucial asset.
He has been following his rehabilitation programme diligently throughout the campaign, but given the extent of his injury has been unable to feature in any capacity.
This could be seen as a dire situation in the career of any young player, with swift progress vital at a club with the ambitions of Liverpool, but speaking in September, Sharif insisted his time out would make him “100 percent stronger and better.”
Now he has been given a major boost with the Reds showing their confidence in his ability in the form of a new contract, which the club confirmed on Thursday morning.
“It meant the world to me, signing a new extension,” he told the club’s official website.
“I don’t think you get the opportunity to play for an amazing football club like Liverpool too often, so I was excited to sign.
“The staff that’s been around me throughout my injury, I can’t thank them enough, there’s so many to name.
“I just want to thank all of them for being there for me and I just can’t wait to get back at it and give everything that I have.”
Delighted and grateful to extend my contract with this amazing Club @LFC. It’s been a tough time with the injury that I’ve had, but I’m excited to return and get back to what I love doing next season. See you soon! pic.twitter.com/3GkBKKIp9M
— Abdisharif (@Abdisharif01) May 28, 2020
Sharif is not set to return until next season, with the academy campaign ending prematurely earlier this month, giving him an opportunity to stake a claim in pre-season.
The teenager still has time on his side, only having turned 19 in January, and will be hoping to pick up where he left off under a new manager, as Liverpool seek a replacement for Neil Critchley.
It is a similar situation to that seen with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s contract extension last August, with the club effectively pushing back his expiry date by a year to make up for the time he spent out injured.
These gestures show the club care about their players, and hopefully the Toxteth-born Sharif can repay the Reds’ faith with his performances in 2020/21.