Ki-Jana Hoever became the youngest player ever to represent Liverpool in the FA Cup after he replaced Dejan Lovren during the opening stages of Monday’s third-round tie at Wolves.
Jurgen Klopp made nine chances to the XI that lost 2-1 at Manchester City in the Premier League last Thursday but one of the players retained, Croatia centre-back Lovren, pulled up and had to be replaced in the sixth minute.
Dutch defender Hoever joined Liverpool from the Ajax academy last year and is 11 days shy of his 17th birthday.
It means he is the Reds’ third youngest player of all time after Jerome Sinclair, who was 16 years old and six days when he played against West Brom in September 2012, and Jack Robinson – 16 years and 250 days against Hull City in May 2010.
Sinclair’s bow came in the EFL Cup, while Robinson’s was in the Premier League, allowing Hoever to grab himself a piece of FA Cup history for the Reds.
6′ – We’re forced into an early change, as Ki-Jana Hoever makes his Reds debut, replacing the injured Lovren.#WOLLIV
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 7, 2019
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website after including the youngster in his squad to face Wolves, Klopp said of Hoever: “If Joel [Matip] and Joe [Gomez] would have been fit the whole time now, then probably Ki-Jana would not have been in training but now he was in and is still in and it is just a joy to watch him.
“He’s an incredibly confident young fella and he is really a good player on top [of that], so that’s nice. That we can see him now day in and day out, that’s really cool.
“Yes for sure [he is] for the future, [but] when the future starts I don’t know. But he is in and he learned a lot and he improves a lot [and] it will happen automatically. So it’s a nice prospect for the next months and years.”
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