Having become the second-youngest scorer in Liverpool history when bagging himself a Capital One Cup goal aged just 16 last season, local lad Jordan Rossiter was of course instantly compared to a legendary home-grown Red.
One strike, however, does not make Rossiter the “next Steven Gerrard”, despite Reds fans’ deepest desires to see another goal-scoring midfield hero spring forth from the academy.
In truth, like Paul Scholes at Manchester United or Frank Lampard at Chelsea, Gerrard’s achievements and attributes are unique and sadly for Liverpool fans, may never be replicated again.
This doesn’t mean to say Maghull-born Rossiter, now at the grand old age of 18, cannot be a fine player for the Anfield giants sooner rather than later, but comparisons to other Kop heroes of yesteryear such as Dietmar Hamann or Danny Murphy may be more accurate.
Luckily for Rossiter’s development he has a nurturer of young talent as his manager, though for how long Brendan Rodgers will be in charge is another hot topic for debate currently.
After that single goal-scoring cameo last season, Rodgers has not been so shy in blooding Rossiter early this term, bringing him on at Arsenal in the Premier League before chucking him into a full European debut at Bordeaux for Liverpool’s Europa League opener.
Playing a deep-lying role in front of the back four, the Merseysider displayed a maturity in possession, completing 84 per cent of his passes, while enjoying 65 touches of the ball.
Rossiter also made four successful tackles and two interceptions to prove his worth in that anchoring role from a defensive standpoint.
His two-footedness is a clear trait of an accomplished footballer, while although not overly expansive, the zip in his passes was also noticeable.
Perhaps it was the instructional shackles placed upon the teenager by Rodgers, but on the early evidence Rossiter is not a player who will drive the team forward.
Nevertheless, should he keep taking opportunities to impress he may not end up having to depart Anfield for pastures new, like Bolton’s Jay Spearing for example, who was an academy player with a similar profile a few years back.
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