Paul Glatzel made a successful return to action from injury in Liverpool under-23s’ friendly victory over Salford City in a positive step forward for the youngster.
It has been a tumultuous couple of years for the 20-year-old after suffering an ACL injury in 2019 before ending 2020 with ankle ligament damage.
The latest injury was one that derailed his bid to settle into Barry Lewtas’ side while also taking him out of Jurgen Klopp‘s reach for the short-term.
There are high hopes for Glatzel and after making his return to training in mid-February after almost three months on the sidelines, he followed it up with 60 minutes of on-field action.
It came against Salford City in a friendly matchup at the Academy, a game which also coincided with the return of Abdi Sharif, who has experienced his own ordeal with injury in recent times.
The U23s emerged as 3-1 victors thanks to goals from Joe Hardy, Billy Koumetio and second-half substitute Layton Stewart – the latter of whom opened his account for Lewtas’ side with the winner against Chelsea last time out.
All of the Reds’ goals arrived in the second half after entering the break with a one-goal deficit in a valuable run out after playing just four competitive games in 2021 to date.
“It was a good workout for us and we scored some really good goals,” Lewtas told the club’s official website after the friendly win.
“It was great to see Paul and Abdi back and they will take a lot from that. Tony Gallacher got some minutes after his ankle injury, so it was great to see him back.
“Joe Hardy played his first 90 minutes for a while and scored, so that’s pleasing.”
The focus now will be to keep Glatzel ticking and working his way back to some rhythm after a stop-start few years, and he will not be short of competition with Joe Hardy, Luis Longstaff and Stewart all vying for a place in Lewtas’ side.