Premier League • England

Liverpool closely monitor Ajax wonderkid as teenage sensation grabs Klopp’s attention

Ben Stewart
Jorrel Hato (AFC AJAX) and Steven Bergwijn

Jorrel Hato (AFC AJAX) and Steven Bergwijn

Liverpool are keeping a close eye on Ajax youngster Jorrel Hato as the teenage defender continues to impress in the Eredivisie.

Jurgen Klopp was kept busy throughout the summer transfer window and he will already have his eye on a target or two ahead of the January window.

Liverpool prioritised signing midfielders in the summer as Klopp went about overhauling the engine room. They signed four midfielders in the end, but perhaps left themselves short in some other positions.

It’s no secret that Liverpool were also interested in signing another centre-half, but they didn’t manage to get any of their defensive targets through the door.

The Reds had been linked with Chelsea’s Levi Colwill and Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi, but these players would have proven to be too costly for Liverpool considering the other signings they made.

Klopp won’t have given up on signing an extra defender though and it now seems as if the club have Ajax star Hato on their radar.

According to Football Transfers, Liverpool are ‘closely monitoring’ the defender’s performances. Hato made his debut for Ajax last season and has been a regular under Maurice Steijn so far.

The 17-year-old has started in all three of Ajax’s league matches so far this season and he will no doubt attract interest from elsewhere in Europe.

READ MORE: Exclusive: Liverpool delay saw Tottenham sensation dash Klopp’s hopes of mega-money Anfield transfer

Liverpool looking for younger defenders

The Reds were desperate to overhaul their midfield this summer as the average age of the squad had started to creep up. This could also be the case for Liverpool in defence.

It’s worth pointing out that the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip aren’t getting any younger. By signing someone like Hato they would be investing into the future of this position.

The Reds already have a Dutch core which is starting to build up as Van Dijk was joined by Ryan Gravenberch at the club this summer.

Hato is still an incredibly raw talent, but he has already shown he is able to mix it with the Ajax senior squad. The 17-year-old has made 18 senior appearances and will no doubt be handed plenty of opportunities this year.

Ajax have a tremendous track record when it comes to developing youngsters and it seems as if they have another gem on their hands in Hato.

The teenager is under contract with Ajax until the summer of 2025 and it remains to be seen how much they would demand for him. Liverpool will continue to closely monitor the situation and could make a move for him in 2024.

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