SAALFELDEN, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, July 26, 2022: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon arrives before a training session at during the club's pre-season training camp in Austria. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Kaide Gordon returns for first game in 19 months – “Many more to come”

Kaide Gordon played his first game for Liverpool in 19 months after a long and frustrating injury, with the winger vowing “many more to come.”

Liverpool U21s 1-4 Middlesbrough U21s

Premier League 2, AXA Training Centre
September 3, 2023

Goals: Fletcher 50′, Finch 55′, Simpson 73′, Kavanagh 79′; Hill 90+1′

Gordon has been sidelined since February 2022, when he spent a weekend on double duty with the first team and then the under-21s.

The youngster was an unused substitute in the 3-1 win over Cardiff in the FA Cup, before playing the full 90 minutes in a 3-0 defeat to Leeds U21s the following day.

After that, though, he was consigned to the treatment room, with various setbacks eventually attributed to adolescent musculoskeletal issues – or growing pains – in his pelvis.

Building up his fitness over the summer with the U21s, Gordon finally made his return to the matchday squad as the young Reds hosted Middlesbrough on Saturday.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 16, 2022: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Named on the bench by manager Barry Lewtas, the now 18-year-old came off the bench for the final 15 minutes with the visitors already 3-0 up.

Gordon ultimately played over 25 minutes on his return, with stoppage time exceeding 10 minutes as Calum Kavanagh scored Middlesbrough‘s fourth and Tom Hill grabbed one back late on.

Youngster Josh Davidson, another substitute, saw red in the 10th minute of added time for an incident which also saw Gordon booked.

It was a heavy 4-1 defeat for Liverpool, ultimately, but should be considered a momentous occasion for the club’s second-youngest ever goalscorer.

“After 19 months out felt so good to be back out there with the boys,” Gordon wrote on Instagram.

“Many more to come.”

When Gordon scored his first goal for Jurgen Klopp‘s senior side he was three months and four days past his 17th birthday.

Now, after such a lengthy spell out, he is a month away from turning 19, and it goes without saying that he has missed a lot of football with the best part of two years out.

Returning for the U21s was a landmark occasion, though, and Gordon will now be looking to build up his minutes over the coming months.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Friday, December 16, 2022: Liverpool's youngsters Dominic Corness, Kaide Gordon, and Jarell Quansah after the Dubai Super Cup 2022 match between Liverpool FC and AC Milan at the Al Maktoum Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There remain high hopes for him among Klopp and his first-team staff, with the teenager even registered for the knockout stages of last season’s Champions League.

Gordon travelled for pre-season in Austria last summer and then Dubai during the World Cup, while he was part of the initial squad to report for medical checks at the AXA Training Centre this summer.

He faces further competition now following the rise of Ben Doak, who also plays on the right flank, but the pathway is still there for Gordon.

Liverpool U21s: Mrozek; Mabaya (Davidson 64′), Miles (Pinnington 74′), Chambers, Scanlon; McConnell, Pilling (Spearing 64′), Hill; Frauendorf (Gordon 74′), Clark, Glatzel

Subs not used: Kelly

Next match: Morecambe (A) – EFL Trophy – Tuesday, September 19, 7pm (BST)