What Virgil van Dijk told Liverpool coach about “revelation” Trey Nyoni

Trey Nyoni was a surprise inclusion in Liverpool’s matchday squad for the 3-0 win over Brentford, with Virgil van Dijk among those impressed by the “revelation.”

Though Nyoni did not make it onto the pitch as the Reds returned to winning ways on Sunday, the 16-year-old was given an unforgettable experience.

Just months after swapping Leicester for Liverpool, and beginning his life in the U18s, the teenager was warming up with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai.

It was not his first taste of the senior setup, of course, with Nyoni having trained with Jurgen Klopp‘s squad on a regular basis in recent weeks.

And speaking as part of LFCTV’s pre-match coverage, academy player-coach Jay Spearing revealed the close attention Van Dijk is paying to the No. 98.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 23, 2023: Liverpool's Trey Nyoni (#10) celebrates after scoring the winning second goal during the Under-18 Premier League North match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Everton FC Under-18's, the Mini-Mini-Merseyside Derby, at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It was really nice going down to the AXA and being around and with him training with the first team,” Spearing explained.

“Virgil came out, he congratulated him on training with them, he said he’s got a lot more to come and he really liked him.

“Watching the U18s against Middlesbrough as well, Virgil came out to watch and see where Trey was playing – he was playing with the U21s.

“So to have the captain of Liverpool Football Club come to see where you are, how you’re getting on, you’ve obviously caught the attention of the first-team players.

“As long as he keeps his head down, he keeps going, he’s got a really bright future.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 26, 2022: Liverpool's Under 18's Coach Jay Spearing before the Under-18 Premier League match between Everton FC Under-18's and Liverpool FC Under-18's, the "mini-mini-Merseyide Derby", at Finch Farm. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Spearing – who usually coaches with the U18s, but also plays with the U21s, and started alongside Nyoni in the recent 2-1 loss to League Two side Barrow in the EFL Trophy – is well placed to comment on the youngster’s situation.

“Trey’s been fantastic since he’s come in,” he enthused.

“With everything that was going on between the two clubs, he came into the club late.

“You’re probably talking into August, maybe into September time, before he joined up with the lads.

“But since he’s come in, he’s hit the ground running. He’s been a revelation.

“His game understanding for such a young age is incredible. His weight of pass, everything about it. He’s a really talented boy.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 1, 2023: Liverpool's substitute Trey Nyoni during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Crystal Palace FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at the Crystal Palace Training Ground . (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Asked what stands out in particular about Nyoni, Spearing replied: “His understanding of the game.

“We’ve given him a lot of responsibility when he’s first come in. Even with him being 16, [at] U18 level he stands out.

“He knows how the game should be played, he knows when to speed the game up, he knows when to slow the game down, what pockets and positions to pick up to cause the opposition problems.

“We’ve given him the license to just go and enjoy himself and play. For me, that’s when Trey has been at his best.

“He’s still got a long way to go, loads to improve, but he’s started really, really well. I’m absolutely delighted to see him involved with the first team.”