It brought the teenager’s fourth appearance for the first team, but also his first start, having previously come off the bench against Toulouse, Brentford and Union SG.
So who is McConnell and what can we expect?
Who is James McConnell?
McConnell arrived at Liverpool from Sunderland following a successful trial spell in 2019, as one of three young arrivals from the Academy of Light.
Joining goalkeeper Luke Hewitson and midfielder Luca Stephenson, he initially took a place in the U16s before making swift progress.
After debuting for the U18s as an U16 player in 2020, he moved up through the ranks to eventually captain the U21s this season, having already caught the eye of first-team staff.
What is his style of play?
During his early years in the academy, McConnell was more of an attacking midfielder, providing goals and assists with a penchant for long-range shots.
But upon his promotion to the first team for pre-season training over the summer, the teenager was tasked with adapting to a new position as a No. 6.
It fits in with the new blueprint for Liverpool’s deepest midfielder, with combativeness required but more of an emphasis on dynamism, press-resistence and starting attacks with pinpoint passes.
McConnell has impressed there so far, with his ability to keep things simple and build tempo in possession clearly admired by Klopp.
What has Jurgen Klopp said?
“James in the six is just a joy to watch.
“The boy never played in that position before, we put him there and he throws his heart on the pitch.”
“He is showing us lots of different things to his game this year, playing as a No. 6, scoring headers.
“It just goes to show what he can do.”
What has McConnell said?
Speaking to the club’s official website in November, McConnell reflected on his change of position and how training with the senior squad at the AXA is aiding his development:
“I’m learning every single day, especially if you look at the fact that I’m playing in a slightly different position this season.
“I still back myself playing the attacking role but this season I’ve been playing in the No.6 deeper role and learning on the job so to speak.
“I’m learning off all the players, learning from players like Dominik Szoboszlai, the younger ones like Curtis and Harvey who have given me great support and help.
“Being around these top players, you are only going to learn and get better.”
Hopefully his next step will come with a bright display against Norwich.