LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 11, 2023: Liverpool's substitute James McConnell (L) comes on for Dominik Szoboszlai during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s most recent first-team debutant signs new long-term contract

Liverpool have rewarded 19-year-old James McConnell with a new contract after making the step up into Jurgen Klopp‘s first-team this season.

The midfielder has been with the club since under-15 level, joining from Sunderland and subsequently impressing to earn himself three appearances, and counting, under Klopp.

McConnell made his debut off the bench in the 5-1 win over Toulouse in October before making a further two late cameos against Union SG and Brentford.

He is the most recent youngster to be handed his debut this season following the likes of Calum Scanlon, Luke Chambers and Jarell Quansah.

The 19-year-old’s new deal is a reward for his development and a continued show of faith from the coaches having been named in the senior matchday squad a further 12 times this season.

In a post on his Instagram, McConnell said: “Happy to extend my contract with this great club! Excited for the future.”

With injuries to key midfielders throughout the campaign so far, McConnell has been utilised readily in first-team training and as an option from the bench.

He’s coupled his time with the first-team with minutes for the academy, playing three of the club’s four games in the EFL Trophy in addition to matches with the U21s in Premier League 2.

McConnell is a central midfielder with the versatility to operate in multiple positions across midfield, and he is known to have an eye for goal.

Klopp described McConnell as a “joy to watch” back in pre-season after he impressed when tasked with dropping into the unfamiliar No. 6 role.

“James in the six is just a joy to watch,” Klopp said back in the summer. “The boy never played in that position before, we put him there and he throws his heart on the pitch.”