2JPW2NM McDiarmid Park, Perth, UK. 20th Aug, 2022. Scottish premier league football, St Johnstone versus Aberdeen: Leighton Clarkson of Aberdeen applauds the fans Credit: Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News

Liverpool loanee scores brilliant volleyed winner against MLS club

Despite the campaign being on pause, Liverpool loanee Leighton Clarkson was still in excellent goalscoring form for Aberdeen in midweek.

With the World Cup getting underway this week, the majority of the Reds’ loan players are set for a mid-season break.

However, while the Scottish calendar has halted until mid-December, Aberdeen have headed straight to the United States for a friendly against sister-club Atlanta United.

A partnership between the two clubs began in 2019, five years after the MLS franchise was founded, with investment into Aberdeen and an alignment in plans for recruitment.

As part of their collaboration, Aberdeen took on a young Atlanta United side at their training ground in Georgia on Wednesday.

Clarkson was part of the Aberdeen lineup, and was busy throughout a first half that proved frustrating for the visitors, unable to break down their less-experienced opponents.

But the winner came midway through the second half, and it was a superb finish from Clarkson, with Matty Kennedy lofting a corner for the 21-year-old to volley in from outside the box.

It was enough to seal victory, with the Liverpool midfielder one of only four players to last the full 90 minutes.

While it came with a modest backdrop, it was the latest in a string of impressive goals from Clarkson since arriving at Aberdeen on loan in the summer.

In 14 competitive games so far, he has scored four goals and laid on two assists, including a long-range effort on his debut against St Mirren and a free-kick winner against St Johnstone two weeks later.

Aberdeen fans are clearly impressed with his impact so far:

Clarkson’s time at Aberdeen to date is much-improved on his disappointing loan spell with Blackburn last time out, which was terminated mid-season after just seven games.

Having turned 21 in October, it may be that his long-term future lies away from Liverpool – and a standout loan in Scotland should only boost his chances of sealing a move if that is the case.