Academy director Alex Inglethorpe admits Liverpool’s job with youngster Ki-Jana Hoever is now to put together all the pieces of the jigsaw to allow him to progress.
The young defender, who does not turn 17 until next Friday, was one of three youth team players – Curtis Jones and Rafael Camacho the others – to make their senior debut in the FA Cup defeat at Wolves.
Hoever became the third-youngest player in the club’s history and the youngest to play in the FA Cup, highlighting his rapid rise.
The Holland youth international only played his first competitive match for the under-18s in September after joining from Ajax in the summer, but Inglethorpe said there was a long way to go and it was up to the club to ensure he maintained his progress.
“I think that he’s an outstanding talent. He has potential, he has serious potential,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“His rate of progression, I suppose, after pre-season hasn’t surprised me because he’s someone that it was very clear from very early on had an awful lot of the pieces that you would need to become a top player.
“A lot of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are in the box and I guess we just have to put them together. He’s a very exciting prospect.
“He’s got a lot more to come, you can see that he’s not done physically yet.
“He’s got a long way to go and a lot to do, but he’s making nice progress at the minute.
“I think we have to be realistic in terms of our expectations of him, but he’s made a lovely start to his time at Liverpool.”