The 17-year-old scored his Liverpool debut against Shrewsbury and showed once again why he is one of England’s most promising youngsters.
At the end of the game there was a standing ovation and a signature Klopp hug.
It was indeed a good performance.
At Liverpool, people thought Cade Gordon could be on top of the world, and you can understand that. At Anfield on Sunday, the teenager showed his huge potential.
His third professional game brought his first professional goal, and it was a very good one, in the end Klopp’s half-main half-academy squad beat Shrewsbury 4-1 .
At 17 years and 96 days, Gordon is the second-youngest goalscorer in Reds history behind Ben Woodburn, who was a few years younger than he is now when he scored against Leeds in 2016. months.
The FA Cup may not be what it used to be, but it is still a stage to announce its arrival. Gordon was an infant when Liverpool last won the FA Cup, but his speed and shooting drove fans crazy.
“This is Cade!” Klopp laughed when asked about the youngster in his post-match press conference. “From the point of view of shooting, he is already an adult.”
Of course, Gordon has impressed since moving to Liverpool from Derby County 12 months ago. Like any other player who made it to Liverpool’s first team under Klopp – like Alexander-Arnold, Harvey Elliott or Curtis Jones – he has the ability to stay in the first team.
The ability to touch the ball with the first foot, the ability to protect the ball, the ability to kick the ball up, and the ability to connect with teammates. It was a display of composure, clarity and confidence, especially in and around the box.
Klopp said: “He’s really calm in these situations, I wouldn’t say for the rest of his career he’s always going to score in these situations, but I’m pretty sure more often he will. Goal in this situation because that’s who he is.”
Gordon isn’t the only young man to shine at Liverpool either. The game against Shrewsbury was Liverpool’s fourth-youngest ever starting line-up, with an average age of just 22 years and 187 days, but Klopp’s kids, as they often do, came out on top.
Conor Bradley, the 18-year-old right-back, recovered from a difficult first half-hour of the first half with a performance full of enthusiasm and purpose. The Northern Ireland international has been involved in two of Liverpool’s four goals, including Gordon’s, and will develop into a quality player once his body develops.
Tyler Morton, 19, was brilliant in midfield, and it was heartening to see another homegrown player, Max Waltman, lead the line in the first 45 minutes.
Morton and Waltman joined Liverpool’s academy at the age of six and have now made appearances with the first team at Anfield and the San Siro. “I’m so proud of Waltman,” Morton said after the game.
If that doesn’t bring a smile, what can?
Dixon Bonner, 21, also had a good game and would have scored a goal had it not been for the stunning response from the Shrewsbury goalkeeper.
In the second half, the Ethiopian-born German youth international Fraundorf made his debut, another young Liverpool native James Norris made his Anfield debut, and two teenagers – James Balakiz and Isaac Mabaya – On the bench. “There were a lot of really good little stories today,” Klopp said.
We know that Liverpool will need to update and supplement their squad over the next few years, and if they can continue to pull from the inside, with the likes of Gordon, Elliott and Jones, it will be a very Wonderful results.
Of course, Klopp is quick to point out that even a player as talented as Gordon still has some way to go. “He has time, if he works as hard as he has so far, then…” he said.
Of course, Gordon may get more opportunities in the coming weeks. With Salah and Mane leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations and Origi still sidelined with a knee injury, Liverpool’s attacking options are undoubtedly stretched.
Expect to see Gordon on the bench in the Carabao Cup semi-final with Arsenal, maybe in the Premier League with Brentford and Crystal Palace, and he will definitely be in the 2 Started against Cardiff at the beginning of the month.
However, these are all later stories. Today, he can look back on his performances, his fantastic debut in the FA Cup and his first big moment in a Liverpool shirt.
This won’t be his last.