Ki-Jana Hoever became the third youngest player in Liverpool history when he took to the field against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup on Monday night.

When he left Ajax in June, however, competition for his signature in was fierce, reports the Liverpool Echo.

The Dutchman had been tracked by some of the top clubs in Europe, including fellow English sides Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United.

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Chief scout Barry Hunter had been tracking the academy star for around a year, having made waves at Ajax following his move from AZ Alkmaar at the age of 12.

Financially, there was no issue for the Reds in making a move. Being too young to sign a professional contract with Ajax, FIFA rules dictate that there is a set compensation fee for cross-border deals based on how long a club has developed a player.

His signature set the club back around a mere £90,000.

It was Liverpool’s personal touch and commitment to youth that secured such a coup of a signing, when Hoever and his family were invited for a tour in the summer.

They met with Academy director Alex Inglethorpe and other key members of staff before being shown the Kirkby facilities, and heading on a tour of Anfield and the trophy room.

Blown away by the facilities, it was Jurgen Klopp’s faith in youth that sealed the deal. Trent Alexander-Arnold was highlighted as the perfect example of the pathway available to the Netherlands under-17 international, and he quickly agreed a move to the club.

About The Author

Freelance sports writer and broadcaster. Formerly Media and Communications Officer at Macclesfield Town Football Club, bylines with FourFourTwo, Mirror Sport, Express & Star, and more. Lifetime Reds fan.

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