Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has been impressed with how Isaac Mabaya has performed in this pre-season.
The Zimbabwean youngster is part of the Reds’ senior squad for pre-season camp and featured in Manchester United and Crystal Palace friendlies.
Klopp also handed the 17-year-old an hour of on-pitch minutes in Wednesday’s 1-0 friendly defeat by Red Bull Salzburg.
Speaking on the academy players’ performance in the pre-season, the Reds gaffer singled out Mabaya.
He told LiverpoolFC.com: “The young kids, the self-confidence they have at that young age, I think that’s a really good sign for the team as well.
“How the team let these boys grow next to them. Seventeen years old, Isaac [Mabaya], a little mic check! I couldn’t deal with that. So, really cool, cool moments the whole night.”
Reflecting on his performances Mabaya said the latest taste of pre-season action has given him the appetite to keep working hard for more opportunities at the club.
The young defender said: “Honestly, I loved it. I always love stepping out on the pitch for Liverpool, so I just want to keep getting my opportunities to do that [and] hopefully [I will] in the future.”
He added: “It’s been brilliant playing and training with some of the best players in the world. There’s a lot to learn from all the players.”
Born in Preston, England, to Zimbabwean parents, Mabaya signed his first professional contract with the Reds in September 2021.
The defender has represented England at junior level but is still eligible to switch allegiance to Zimbabwe in the future.- Soccer 24 Zimbabwe