MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Jarell Quansah’s viral comments on Joel Matip show why Gerrard was “obsessed”

Jarell Quansah attracted attention for his comments on Joel Matip‘s unfortunate injury, but they show the mentality that made Steven Gerrard “obsessed.”

With Matip sidelined for the rest of the season – and potentially having played his last game for Liverpool – a big opportunity has opened up for Quansah.

The 20-year-old has jumped up the pecking order, to at least fourth, following the news that his fellow centre-back suffered an ACL injury.

He has started two out of three games since Matip’s layoff, with back-to-back starts against Crystal Palace and Union SG, and the latter brought an impressive first goal for the club.

Speaking to LFCTV after the 2-1 defeat, Quansah was asked about Matip’s situation and gave a surprisingly honest answer.

“I guess at the start of the season, when I’ve stayed and not gone on loan, I’ve thought ‘I want to play in these games’,” he said.

“So obviously it’s a shame what happened to Joel, my condolences go with him.

“But my idea was to try and get over him anyway, try and be a starting centre-back in the Premier League at the end of the day.

“I’m just trying, any opportunity, hopefully more will come and I’m just trying to really push on and be the best centre-back I can be.”

Quansah’s comments have made headlines, with the Mirror and the Mail describing them as “brutal” and the Liverpool Echo and talkSPORT labelling it “blunt.”

But as Gerrard recalled in 2017, that is exactly the mentality required to step up as an academy player at Liverpool.

“I was obsessed,” told BT Sport.

“Obsessed with being the best player in training every single day, and if I didn’t I’d go home and think about it and try and do it again the next day.

“You have to be obsessed. When you get that sniff and that little bit of hope you’ve got to be obsessed to move [your team-mates] out of the way.

“Once you’re in, they’re not coming back.”

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - Thursday, December 14, 2023: Liverpool's Jarell Quansah (L) celebrates after scoring the first equalising goal during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 6 game between Royale Union Saint-Gilloise and Liverpool FC at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There is obviously sympathy towards Matip, particularly as a player who will have helped mentor Quansah as he breaks through, but as Gerrard explained, it is the right approach to take as an individual.

And if there was any confusion over whether the youngster was simply in it for himself, though, his reply when asked about his first goal for Liverpool proved otherwise.

“You probably didn’t see a celebration, did you?” he said.

“You never know nowadays with what can get given, so I think just to score, probably because we’d already conceded a goal, I wasn’t too happy with myself.

“It was more a get one back, it wasn’t a ‘I’ve just scored’, it was a consolation for the goal we conceded – which is my job to do, not concede.

“I’ll look at that back and pick it apart.”