Jurgen Klopp has hailed the potential of Ki-Jana Hoever as the 16-year-old comes into his thoughts for Liverpool’s FA Cup third round clash with Wolves.
The Reds are prepared to shuffle their pack for a trip to Molineux on Monday.
With Nathaniel Clyne having departed for a loan spell at Bournemouth, the door has been opened for academy stars to gain first-team experience.
Dutch defender Hoever, who can operate at right-back or centre-half, is among those in contention to make Klopp’s matchday squad, with the youngster held in the highest regard at Anfield.
“He is one for the future of course, but what we will do with him now I don't know,” Klopp told reporters of his selection poser.
“He is 16, turns 17 in a few days. If Joel and Joe would have been fit all of the time, then probably Ki-Jana wouldn't have been in training with the first team, but he was in and is still in.
“It is just a joy to watch him. He is an incredible, confident young fella and is really a good player on top of that. It's nice we can see him day in, day out. It's really cool.
“He is for sure for the future, but when the future starts I don't know. But he is in and he learns a lot and improves a lot, it will happen automatically.
“It's a nice prospect for the next months and years. Wolves? I don't know, we will see.”
Hoever is not the only youth team prospect to be catching Klopp’s eye, with the likes of Curtis Jones and Rafa Camacho - whom Goal has revealed is a loan target for Portuguese giants Sporting - also benefitting from joining the senior squad at Melwood.
“Curtis is another good example,” said the German coach.
“He is a fantastic player and came up in February last year and you can see how big the steps are they are making every day.
“They are fantastic young professionals including in an outstanding group, the best education in the dressing room.
“They see how you have to behave and how you can show your football, be confident, be childish if you want in the right moments. You don't have to act like you are a 40-year-old guy.
“Rafa Camacho is the same. We have these youngsters around, and they have all the time in the world. They are still really young and it's not about pushing them.
“If one of these boys plays on Monday, then it's all my responsibility. Then they only have to show up and play football, and all the other things that don't work, it's my fault as I made the wrong decision.
“It won't be a problem for the future. They are here in the right place.”