Ovie Ejaria is delighted with his first team breakthrough at Liverpool this season.
The midfielder arrived from Arsenal in 2014.
“I was offered a scholarship at Arsenal and I chose to turn it down,” Ejaria told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I had opportunities to go to different clubs. I had a look at Liverpool and it was the only club I went to, because I enjoyed it a lot.
“In my first season, I was with the U18s and trained with the U21s sometimes. In my second season, I was with the U18s and played a few games with the U21s as well. Then my third season, I was with the U23s for the first day of pre-season, training normally, and then I got told after the session I was at Melwood the next morning.”
Three Liverpool teenagers have been given debuts under Jurgen Klopp this season: bombarding right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, wonderkid attacker Ben Woodburn and rangy midfielder Ejaria.
But Liverpool’s boss is refusing to take credit for the development of two of these youngsters, claiming he has had very little to do with their progression – although with Ejaria – it’s a bit different!
“The players were already there and I had nothing to do with the development of Ben, Trent or Ovie,” Klopp told the ECHO.
“I don’t think 40 or 50 minutes of football or whatever are enough to get the credit for what the players have done.
“Ovie is maybe a bit different because we saw him and liked him and decided to push him a little bit more. But there was no chance to oversee Trent and Ben for example.
“If they are very young then clubs in the past have sent them on loan and I don’t think it is the perfect situation.
“It’s much better that we can work with them together on football at the highest level.”