Jordan Henderson has lauded the impact of Liverpool’s younger players amid their current injury crisis.
Liverpool secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League in midweek. The Reds beat Ajax 1-0 thanks to a goal from Curtis Jones as they secured top spot in Group D.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been forced to rely on a lot of inexperienced players this season. This comes as a result of a number of injuries to the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Allison.
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This was no different against Ajax, as Caoimin Kelleher, Neco Williams and Jones all started.
Henderson wrote in Liverpool’s matchday programme for Sunday’s game against Wolves, as cited by GOAL, that their youngsters deserve credit for stepping up when the Reds needed them:
“Any victory is always welcome. But even more so when it comes against a top European side and helps secure qualification to the last 16 of the Champions League.
“The best thing about it, though, was it was made possible by the performances of some of our younger players, all of whom deserve all the credit in the world for how they played.
“Curtis Jones got the headlines and rightly so. He is a 19-year-old boy – and I use that word deliberately because in football terms he is still a kid – playing for his boyhood team with all of the pressures that come with that situation, but he doesn’t let it show.
“Curtis went out there, played his football, got the decisive goal. He generally looked like he had been part of the team for years. The reality is he’s still a young lad with only a handful of appearances to his name.
“In goal, we had Caoimhin Kelleher. A little bit older than Curtis but probably a little bit less experienced in terms of first-team exposure. Not only that, he was filling in for Alisson, who has been such an incredible presence for us over the last few seasons.
“Imagine that: you’re making your European debut for Liverpool in a massive game in front of a global audience. You have to replace one of the best in the world in your position.
“Keeping a clean sheet in any circumstances is always an achievement. But in this particular situation, it is an even bigger one. All of the accolades Caoimhin received afterwards were richly deserved.”