Liverpool youngster Tom Hill has been sidelined for almost two years after suffering an ACL injury, but was back on the scoresheet in his first game back.
It has been a nightmare spell for Hill, who soon after being named captain of the Liverpool under-18s sustained an injury to his left knee in training in September 2020.
After undergoing surgery, the teenager looked to a “long road to recovery,” but he may not have expected to spend a total of 20 months on the sidelines.
But as the club took time with Hill’s rehabilitation, he has effectively missed two full seasons, only making his comeback appearance upon the conclusion of the competitive fixtures.
That came in a 3-2 victory for the Liverpool U18s in a friendly clash with Tottenham, and fittingly, Hill scored the young Reds’ first goal.
Spurs were leading 2-0 at Kirkby when Isaac Mabaya drilled in a cross, with Hill timing his run perfectly to finish and kickstart a fightback.
Unsurprisingly, Oakley Cannonier netted twice – including a stoppage-time winner – to earn victory for Liverpool, with Hill brought off in a planned substitution after 60 minutes.
Hill, now 19, was handed a new long-term contract soon after his injury, with the club eager to show their faith in an impressive young talent.
He will now look to make up for lost time during the pre-season programme before likely taking up a role with the under-23s for the 2022/23 campaign.
The U18s’ friendly win over Spurs came less than a week after the official end to the season as they played out a 3-3 draw with Atletico Madrid in the Al Abtal International Cup in Madrid.
A strong side including Cannonier, Conor Bradley, James Balagizi and James Norris took to the field that day, with two goals credited to Bobby Clark and another to substitute Tommy Pilling.
Liverpool finished fourth in their group below Real Madrid, Sporting CP and the Green Future Falcons, meaning they miss the knockout stage.