Jarell Quansah has become the latest academy player to make Jurgen Klopp‘s first-team squad after being named on the bench away to Tottenham. So who is he?
With COVID-19 ruling Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Thiago and Curtis Jones out, Jordan Henderson also sidelined with an unrelated illness and Nat Phillips and Divock Origi injured, Klopp turned to his youth ranks for the trip to Spurs.
Tyler Morton made his first Premier League start in midfield, while Quansah joined Kaide Gordon on the substitutes’ bench alongside the likes of Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
It makes his first-ever senior involvement, following James Norris, Max Woltman, James Balagizi, Harvey Davies, Harvey Blair, Marcelo Pitaluga, Owen Beck, Elijah Dixon-Bonner, Conor Bradley and Liam Hughes as youngsters making the matchday squad this season.
His lack of exposure makes him an unfamiliar face, so what do we know about Quansah?
Who is Jarell Quansah?
From Warrington with English, Ghanain, Barbadon and Scottish heritage, 18-year-old Quansah joined Liverpool’s academy ranks as a five-year-old in 2008.
He has worked his way through the age groups since then, and last term served as captain for the under-18s, before moving up to the under-23s this season while still wearing the armband in under-19s games.
Quansah’s brother, Keenan, is also a professional footballer, who currently plays as a right-back for Stalybridge Celtic in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.
Where does he play?
Quansah is a natural centre-back, but can also play at right-back, where he has been used on occasion by U23s manager Barry Lewtas this season.
He is a tall, strong, dominant defender who organises his back line well, while he also boasts an impressive passing range which allows him to dictate play both short and long.
Could he stay part of the first-team squad?
With Van Dijk likely to miss another two days as he continues his isolation and Phillips sidelined until next month, there is a chance Quansah remains part of the group at least for the time being.
He could even be involved in the FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester in midweek, potentially as a starter alongside Joe Gomez.
Upon Van Dijk’s return, he could find his opportunities more limited, but only turning 19 next month there is plenty of time for him to continue his development in the academy.