Jarell Quansah made his first start for Liverpool yesterday, and as full debuts go, it couldn’t have been much better.
After a poor first half, where a Hwang Hee-chan goal gave Wolves the lead, Liverpool came out firing in the second half, finishing the game 3-1 winners thanks to strikes from Cody Gakpo and Andy Robertson, as well as a Hugo Bueno own goal.
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Jurgen Klopp’s side perhaps were lucky not to be more than a goal down at half-time, but Quansah was hardly to blame. Filling in for Virgil van Dijk would be a hard job for anyone, but the 20-year-old showed no sign of nerves as he stepped out to a boisterous Molineux, putting in a classy performance.
Quansah’s key stats vs Wolves
One of the main attributes that stood out from Quansah’s game yesterday was his calmness on the ball. The young centre-back ended the game with a 96% pass accuracy, the highest on the pitch, misplacing just three of his 80 passes.
His composure on the ball, had echoes of Liverpool’s absent captain, pinging passes around at the back for the Reds, reliving pressure – especially in a tough first half where Wolves were constantly on top.
The 20-year-old also attempted three long balls in his 83 minutes on the pitch, completing all of them. Filling in capably with another attribute that Van Dijk enjoys displaying on a weekly basis.
When it comes to his defence work, Quansah shone even more. Winning all three of his attempted tackles, as well as making seven clearances (two with his head), four recoveries and two interceptions.
Wolves came out firing in the first half, as Liverpool struggled to form any sort of possession and Quansah was tested on numerous occasions, shinning in almost all of them.
What did Jurgen Klopp say about Quansah?
Klopp was quick to lavish praise on the youngster at the full-time whistle.
“He did well, eh? He did really well, was really good,” said Liverpool’s manager speaking at his post-match press conference.
“It’s a nice, wonderful experience for him. He came on now always in very decisive moments. It’s not that he came on to close games or whatever, we had to do something there.
“Today he was good, I have to say. In such a disorganised team like we were in the first half, being the one who looks kind of alright is a statement, absolutely. So really happy for him, he’s obviously pretty happy in the moment as well. Good boy.”
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Having been at Liverpool since the age of five, Quansah captained the Reds’ Under-18 team, to the FA Youth Cup final in 2021, as well as winning the UEFA Under-19 European Championship for England in 2022.
Quansah spent the second half of last season on loan with Bristol Rovers in League One where he made 16 appearances, before returning to Anfield and impressing massively on Liverpool’s pre-season tour.
It was his calmness during those summer outings that stood out to Klopp, who gave the 20-year-old his first-team debut against Newcastle in the Reds’ third game of the 2023/24 season, coming on in the 77th minute before Darwin Nuñez’s’ late double.
At the full-time whistle yesterday, Van Dijk was seen walking over and embracing the youngster in a long hug, full of praise.
If Quansah can carry on performing like this, he might just save his boyhood club millions on signing a new defender to replace the captain in the long term.