LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 9, 2021: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Kaide Gordon could pull triple duty for Liverpool after pre-season breakthrough

Kaide Gordon could be set to feature for Liverpool over three age groups this season, after impressing Jurgen Klopp and his staff during the summer schedule.

Of the youngsters called into Klopp’s squad for pre-season training and friendlies, few made an impression bigger than the 16-year-old Gordon.

From Virgil van Dijk to Trent Alexander-Arnold, the young winger gained admirers throughout his time with the first team, featuring in five games including the Anfield closer against Osasuna.

The teenager was absent as the under-18s and under-23s began their season over the weekend, instead scoring in a behind-closed-doors senior friendly on Sunday that saw Liverpool beat Aston Villa 4-1.

Gordon’s goal was an impressive first-time finish, with the reception given to him from Harvey Elliott – who hoisted him up in celebration – a marker of his growing popularity in the group.

For now at least, it seems that the first team is where Gordon will stay, but coaches anticipate the youngster turning out for both the U18s and U23s throughout the season.

“There is obviously a plan for him,” U23s coach Barry Lewtas told the Liverpool Echo.

“In terms of him being young, it is hard when lads break in and people get excited, and rightly so.

“But he is a young boy at the moment. He came and watched the U18s yesterday and he pops backwards and forwards.”

INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA - Thursday, July 29, 2021: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Hertha BSC at the Tivoli Stadion. Liverpool lost 4-3. (Pic by Jürgen Faichter/Propaganda)

There is a real prospect of Gordon featuring for each of the men’s age groups he is eligible for this season, with there being an opportunity for senior experience in the FA Cup and League Cup.

Klopp, his staff and his players clearly believe he is capable of stepping into the breach if required, but U18s coach Marc Bridge-Wilkinson will be expecting the same professionalism “if and when” he rejoins his squad.

“He’s a brilliant footballer and he’s a nice young man,” he added.

“At the minute he is with the first team and hopefully as things carry on, who knows what might happen.

“If and when he comes back to us, we will look after him just the same and keep working on his game.”

If Gordon does make his first-team debut this season, he will not be the youngest in the club’s history to do so – as Jerome Sinclair’s record at 16 years and six days is hard to beat.

But he has a strong chance of following the second-youngest, Elliott, in fashioning himself as a genuine option for Klopp beyond that senior bow.