KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

Joey Barton applauds new signing from Liverpool – “We’re absolutely delighted”

Joey Barton is “absolutely delighted” with the first signs from Liverpool loanee Jarell Quansah, with the Bristol Rovers boss grateful for their “trust.”

Quansah has joined Bristol Rovers on loan for the remainder of the season, giving the 19-year-old centre-back a first taste of regular first-team football.

The teenager is expected to start when Rovers visited Morecambe in League One on Saturday, which will be his maiden outing at senior level having previously been on the bench three times for Liverpool.

It will be a big test for Quansah, but Barton is confident he has the ability to step up, as he told Bristol World ahead of the game.

“He’s got really good qualities and when you’ve been training with Liverpool’s first team, being in and around that picture, the next step in your progression is to get out and have regular men’s football,” he said.

“Thankfully, Liverpool have trusted us with this stage of his development and we’re absolutely delighted to have him.”

Barton added: “He’s just a really good passer of the football.

“Obviously, he’s been brought in to be a defender, but we want to control the ball and we want to play and it’s important that our defenders are capable of breaking lines and handling the ball.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 11, 2023: Liverpool's Jarell Quansah (L) is challenged by Paris Saint-Germain's Christ Mukelenge during the Premier League International Cup match between Liverpool FC Under-23's and Paris Saint-Germain Under-21's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In his pre-match preview with the club, Barton admitted that Quansah might be “shocked by the speed of some things that happen in the game,” but “it will only be a matter of time that he adjusts to it.”

He will have learned that in part by watching the youngster in person when he attended the Liverpool under-21s’ 4-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain earlier in January.

“Sometimes when you’re in a spot where you know players are going to be available, you can watch clips of them and you can talk about them and speak to coaches,” he explained.

“But nothing beats watching them live and getting your eyes on them.

“For us, to see him play in that arena and see how he moved and all those types of things were very important because we don’t have an abundance of loans.

“You’ve got to make sure the ones that you take are right for playing in your style. For us, we think Jarell absolutely is.”