Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told the club’s youngsters to take their chance to impress him during their Tenerife training camp.
On a similar trip to the Canary Islands a year ago under-23 midfielder Ovie Ejaria caught the German’s eye and was rewarded with promotion to the first-team and a senior debut earlier this season.
Injury has restricted Ejaria to eight appearances but Klopp believes he should be a role model for the next generation of hopefuls, who were invited on the trip to join all the senior players not on international duty.
“I told the boys before the session (on Tuesday) that last year Ovie Ejaria came onto my plate, if you want,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.
“I saw him here first. I knew him, I saw him playing a few times, but here having him around for four days and seeing him in small spaces in the sessions against the ‘adults’ if you want was very important for him and for me.
“It’s an opportunity. You can see in their eyes they know it; they are really ambitious when they think about the sessions and we will try to do everything we can to give them the opportunity to impress.
“There’s no doubt about the attitude, there’s no doubt about quality – it’s only a question of are they already ready or not?
“If not, then they still have time. If yes, then let’s make the next step.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool have declined to comment on reports they are facing a Premier League investigation over an allegation regarding the “tapping up” of a 12-year-old playing at Stoke.