Ovie Ejaria's memorable few weeks for club and country can be just the start of a promising career for the Liverpool youngster, believes Neil Mellor.
The composed midfielder joined the Academy in 2014 and has impressed at youth level ever since, with his performances earning him an opportunity for the first team in pre-season.
Jürgen Klopp then handed Ejaria a place on the bench at Chelsea and a senior debut as a substitute in the EFL Cup victory at Derby County in September.
This month, the 18-year-old has stepped up his international progress by helping England record three successive wins in a tournament with Germany, the Netherlands and USA.
He got the breakthrough against the Americans on Monday night with a well-taken strike too – which can be watched for free on LFCTV GO below.
Mellor, a keen follower of developments at the Academy, is a big fan and feels Ejaria has already shown the kind of attitude which suggests greater things lie ahead.
He writes in the new edition of the official Liverpool FC magazine: “I watch a lot of the Liverpool under-age sides and his development in the last 12 months has been amazing.
“A year ago he would probably admit that he wasn’t finding it easy in the U18s. Now he’s training with the first team after a fantastic pre-season where he stood out in games.
“He was imposing himself and doing very well. Technically gifted, he’s comfortable on the ball and has a good engine.
“Obviously he still has a long way to go, but it’s great to see him on the right track and that the hard work of the Academy staff is paying off.”
The former Liverpool striker continues: “For a young boy to move from London to Liverpool and adjust to a new way of life can’t have been easy.
“It’s the type of challenge players typically have to go through. At those times the question is: how badly do you want to be a professional?
“Ovie has shown how much by leaving an environment where he was comfortable and coming to the north west to try to fulfil his potential.
“He didn’t sulk or spit his dummy out when Arsenal let him go. Instead he got on with it and now he’s reaping the rewards.
“If he continues to show the same approach, work hard and avoid the inevitable distractions that come along, he can go far.”
Want to know more about subscribing to the official Liverpool FC magazine? Click here for details.