LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 16, 2022: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Trent declares “the future is bright” after Kaide Gordon leapfrogs Raheem Sterling

Kaide Gordon became the fourth-youngest league debutant Liverpool’s history coming on against Brentford, with Trent Alexander-Arnold proclaiming “the future is bright.”

The Reds were coasting at 3-0 up when Jurgen Klopp turned to his No. 49, with Gordon replacing Diogo Jota in the 82nd minute at Anfield.

At 17 years, three months and 11 days, Gordon took over from Raheem Sterling as the fourth-youngest player to debut for Liverpool in a league game.

Only Jack Robinson, Harvey Elliott and Ben Woodburn did so at a younger age, with Max Thompson pushed out of the top five; Gordon is the third player to make it onto the list during Klopp’s reign.

The teenager is already the club’s fifth-youngest debutant in all competitions, and his latest distinction came a week after he secured his place as the Reds’ youngest-ever FA Cup goalscorer.

That it comes three weeks before the one-year anniversary of his £3.4 million from Derby is a testament to not only his quality and potential as a young player, but also the belief in his ability within the Liverpool first team.

One of Gordon’s biggest advocates is Alexander-Arnold, a player who has risen from the academy to make 202 appearances for Liverpool already at 23.

Taking to Twitter after the 3-0 victory over Brentford – which could have been 4-0 had Gordon finished a one-on-one late on – the right-back praised his young team-mate:

It was a simple statement from Alexander-Arnold but one that carries considerable weight, with hopes very high for Gordon.

Klopp will remain patient with his young talent, despite the absence of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at present, though there is a chance he features again on Thursday night.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain facing time on the sidelines with an ankle injury, Klopp could have lost his latest stand-in on the right flank, increasing Gordon’s chances of more game time.

While it can often be that senior players show less trust in youth on the pitch, that clearly would not be the case if their history-maker was given another start.