Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gave a number of young guns some match time in the 6-0 friendly win over Tranmere yesterday, with Rhian Brewster the stand out with his two goals.
One name fans will have been less familiar with, though, is Yasser Larouci. The 18-year-old started at left-back at Prenton Park and performed well, so who is he? Here are five things you need to know about the teenager:
1) He was in demand before Liverpool signed him
Manchester United and Southampton were both interested in signing Larouci before he signed on the dotted line with the Reds at the start of 2017.
He had been at Le Harve but opted against signing professional terms before moving to England. The French club’s academy has developed a number of very talented players over the years, including Riyad Mahrez.
2) Larouci used to be a winger
When he arrived at the Kirkby Academy, the Algerian/Frenchman was usually employed as a right-winger, cutting in onto his stronger left foot.
However, it became apparent that he may not make the grade in that position, and Under 18s manager, Barry Lewtas made the decision to convert him into a left-back last season.
3) He loves to attack
Larouci’s attacking instincts are still very much part of his game. According to Wyscout, he averages 11.2 dribbles a game, close to what Wilfried Zaha averages as a winger for Crystal Palace.
The 18-year-old also averages at least one shot per match and regularly makes darting runs forward to deliver balls into the box.
4) He is quick
The teenager’s biggest strength is his speed. With pace to burn and a strong physique, he has the skillset to get up and down the flank as a fullback.
His positional knowledge will need to improve, but his speed means he can get back into position if he makes an error.
5) Larouci has made incredible progress
The Algerian/Frenchman did not get international clearance to play competitive football for Liverpool until late 2017, but after a season under Steven Gerrard in the academy, he has made huge strides in his game.
Following the switch to fullback under Lewtas, he helped the Under 18s win the FA Youth Cup last campaign and has also featured for Neil Critchley’s Under 23s. His elevation to the first team set up barely 20 months after playing his first competitive game in the academy is quite an achievement.