The “elite” standards leaving lasting impression on Liverpool’s rising star

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Liverpool midfielder Jake Cain has pointed to both Jordan Henderson and James Milner for setting an “elite” example in his early days at Melwood.

Prior to the academy season being curtailed, Cain had hit his stride and was the brightest star from the club’s emerging youth.

The 18-year-old scored eight goals and provided a further 11 assists in 32 outings across the age groups, a number of games surpassed by no other Red in the youth ranks.

Self-described as a “ball-playing midfielder” who “likes to attack” and “lead the press,” Cain has found himself at Melwood alongside Jurgen Klopp‘s side on a number of occasions this season.

And in his time alongside the senior team, both Henderson and Milner left a lasting impression for the attitude required to make it at the top.

“It’s surreal being up there with the first team. With how well they’re doing, it’s just a privilege to be with them at the moment,” Cain told the club’s official website.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 4, 2020: Liverpool's Jake Cain (L) and Shrewsbury Town's Sean Goss during the FA Cup 4th Round Replay match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Everything they do is 100 percent, the attitude to train is 100 per cent. Players like James Milner and Jordan Henderson are just key examples. They’re always on it 100 per cent and if people are slacking then they’ll tell them.

“The standard is always kept high and that’s why they’re doing so well, because the standards are always elite all the time.”

With a view of breaking into Liverpool’s midfield one day, the up-close exposure to the captain and vice-captain has brought to the fore the “demands for the Liverpool midfielder nowadays.”

Cain was a member of Liverpool’s youngest-ever side who emerged victorious over Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on his senior debut, a standout in the middle of the park alongside Leighton Clarkson and Pedro Chirivella having more than held his own against senior opposition.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 27, 2019: Liverpool's Jake Cain (R) celebrates scoring the first goal with team-mate captain Curtis Jones during the UEFA Youth League Group E match between Liverpool FC Under-19's and SSC Napoli Under-19's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He has shown all the signs of possessing a bright future, but Cain is keeping his eye on steady progress through the ranks to earn further opportunities to show what he is capable of.

“Short term, probably just keep maintaining my place in the U23s,” Cain added.

“Towards the end of last season I was getting a good run, so when we go back I’ll hopefully continue with that and hopefully push on.

“In the long term, just maintain my position at the club and keep improving. Hopefully, I’ll get a few more first-team chances to train up there and show what I’m capable of. Then it might lead to more opportunities to play at Anfield and other fantastic stadiums in England.”

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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