After joining Kilmarnock on loan until the end of the season on Monday, Luke Chambers was thrown straight in for his senior debut just 48 hours later, and provided an assist just 35 minutes in.
Chambers, who has spent a lot of time training with Liverpool’s first team this season, was allowed to leave on loan prior to the January transfer deadline, after Liverpool recalled left-back Owen Beck from his loan at Bolton.
Kilmarnock, who are currently ninth in the SPFL, were Chambers’ chosen destination, and manager Derek McInnes handed him his professional debut in their league meeting with Dundee United on Wednesday evening.
The 18-year-old ensured it was a debut to remember, assisting winger Daniel Armstrong for the only goal of the game after 35 minutes.
Chambers exchanged passes with a team-mate after a throw-in, before fizzing in a pass to Armstrong inside the box, who fired home with an impressive volley.
The Liverpool youngster earned plenty of plaudits for his performance, and speaking after the game, McInnes said he had been hugely impressed by what he’d seen from Chambers so far.
“Thirty-six years ago I made my first senior debut and I certainly didn’t play as good as him,” McInnes said in an interview with the club.
“He was outstanding. He looks about 13 but he plays like a 30-year-old!
“He’s so mature, he’s so calm with his defending, his decision making on the ball was very good, his choice of passes, his choice of crosses, none more so than for Danny’s goal and he’s fitted in brilliantly.
“For an 18-year-old kid we’ve been really impressed by him. Not just his ability but the type person he is, he’s fitted right in. We’re delighted and pleased that Liverpool and Luke decided to choose us over others.
First competitive senior start and it’s an instant impact for Liverpool’s Luke Chambers as he assists Kilmarnock’s winning goal against Dundee United tonight.
89 minutes on his first start, 3 key passes, 1 assist, played really high. 1-0 win. pic.twitter.com/nNPhtS8CRu
— Lewis Bower (@LewisBower2021) February 1, 2023
Luke Chambers’ professional debut vs Dundee United:
3 chances created
27 passes (90%)
1 successful dribble (50%)
4 passes into the final third
3 long balls (75%)
1 ground duel won#LFC pic.twitter.com/Fbmu8VySfj
— John Winning (@JohnProgress7) February 2, 2023
Luke Chambers looks so confident brilliant first half young man ?
— Taylor ? (@TaylorLynn1869) February 1, 2023
Luke Chambers looking like a good find. So comfortable on the ball and played a great pass for Danny’s goal.
— Gary Kirkpatrick (@garyyyk_) February 1, 2023
“It was a very impressive start from him and hopefully there’s far more to come, he’s made a big impression. We said to him before the game, ‘just play the way you’ve trained the last two days’. Since he’s joined us, he’s impressed us.”
Chambers started at left-back and was given the licence to bomb forward, but is equally as comfortable at the centre of defence, with Jurgen Klopp going as far as to say he feels the youngster “has everything” for a modern day centre-back earlier this season.
His next taste of action for his new club could come on Saturday, with Kilmarnock taking on fifth place Livingston.
Let’s hope Chambers’ debut was a sign of things to come between now and the end of the season!