KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 24, 2020: Liverpool's substitute Yasser Larouci warms-up during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-23's and Chelsea FC Under-23's at the Liverpool Academy. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Defender who turned down Liverpool stay nets first-ever senior goal in Ligue 1

Yasser Larouci turned down a new contract with Liverpool due to “limited opportunities,” with the 22-year-old now a regular starter in Ligue 1.

After a brief run of involvement in Jurgen Klopp‘s squad for pre-season friendlies, training sessions and, on three occasions, senior games, Larouci saw his chances dry up.

By the end of the 2020/21 campaign, it was no real surprise to see the Algerian bank on himself and reject the offer of a new deal at Anfield.

Instead, Larouci left on a free transfer and, within four weeks of his release, he had signed a five-year contract with French club Troyes.

LEIGH, ENGLAND - Friday, September 25, 2020: Liverpool's Yasser Larouci during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Manchester United FC Under-23's and Liverpool FC Under-23's at the Leigh Sports Village. Liverpool won 5-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Playing regularly has always been my principal objective,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I decided against extending my contract at Liverpool as it was clear that there would be limited opportunities to play regularly in the first team in the immediate future.”

Liverpool received around £250,000 in compensation for a player who spent four years in their academy – that money coming, indirectly, from their rivals, with Troyes owned by the City Football Group.

Injury problems blighted his first season in Troyes, but Larouci ended the campaign strongly, making 13 appearances with two as a starter.

This time around, he has cemented himself as a regular starter under Patrick Kisnorbo, and on Saturday he netted his first-ever senior goal.

Starting at left wing-back as Troyes hosted RC Lens, Larouci raced onto Xavier Chavalerin’s ball into the box and fired low into the bottom corner.

The goal opened the scoring, but Lens equalised late on through Adrien Thomasson to ensure a 1-1 draw that at least pushed Troyes further away from the relegation zone.

It came against a Lens side vying with Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1, and Larouci will now be hoping to build on this in the second half of the campaign.

So far this season, Larouci has featured 18 times, starting 12 of those outings, playing the full 90 minutes in each of the last two games.