WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Monday, January 7, 2019: Liverpool's substitute Ki-Jana Hoever on the bench before the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ki-Jana Hoever says slow Liverpool progress led to Wolves move

The desire to keep things moving and not stagnate was key for Ki-Jana Hoever when he switched Liverpool for Wolves last year, the youngster claims.

The 19-year-old swapped Anfield for Molineux in a £13.5 million deal that for all intents and purposes was a makeweight in Diogo Jota going the other way.

It came before a season that saw Liverpool suffer a defensive injury crisis like no other, one that could have opened the door for Hoever to claim a spot in Jurgen Klopp‘s side.

But the young Dutchman was not to know what was around the corner and he has since made 17 appearances for Wolves, 13 more than his tally at Liverpool, with a further 24 games on the bench.

Nelson Semedo has proved stiff competition at right-back under both Nuno Espirito Santo and Bruno Lage, but his chances have been greater than at Liverpool and it’s the speed of progress that saw him seek a move.

“I didn’t expect anything like that when I just signed with the club, by any means,” Hoever told Voetbal International.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, August 25, 2020: Liverpool's substitute Ki-Jana Hoever during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

“That I would make my debut within six months, while before that, I played my matches in the Under-17s at Ajax. That all happened very quickly.

“That is also difficult because, after that, it doesn’t go so fast.”

Hoever made his debut for the Reds at just 16, making him the fifth-youngest player to have made an appearance in club history, but just three more games in domestic cups followed.

And just 20 months later he would no longer be a Red, a decision that was made with a similar reason for his departure from Ajax to Liverpool in 2018.

“That went too slowly for me,” Hoever claims. “I hadn’t thought about the first one at all; I wanted to go to the Under-19 as soon as possible.

“I was surprised that I was offered a contract from Ajax because I had the feeling for some time that I was not appreciated how I thought I should be appreciated.

“The fact that I made my debut in Liverpool six months later also says that I was at least ready for the Under-19 of Ajax, I think.”

A highly-rated versatile defender, Hoever certainly looks to have a bright future ahead of him and one cannot begrudge his desire not to see his career stagnate.

In the end, his move was one that helped facilitate Jota’s move – making it a win-win situation with the No. 20 having more than proven his worth with 15 goals in 33 games.