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    Friday, 1 July 2022

    Young Liverpool defender who's compared to Joel Matip and Joe Gomez - Williams Pickforth

    Liverpool's young defender Jarell Quansah scored the winner against Italy to send England Under-19s to the European Championship final

    Jarell Quansah Liverpool

    A Liverpool defender shining for England - no this wasn’t Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jamie Carragher, Emlyn Hughes, or even Joe Gomez.

    On Tuesday night, the Reds’ young promising defender Jarell Quansah netted a late winner to fire England Under-19s into the European Under-19 Championship final and stole the headlines.

    In the Slovakian sun, the Three Lions fought back from behind to beat Italy 2-1 on the night having been a goal down at half-time. Bristol City midfielder Alex Scott equalised before Quansah headed home to set up a final against Israel.

    Quansah’s winner came eight minutes from the end. An in-swinging corner was headed on at the near post and the Liverpool youngster was on hand to head home into an empty net.

    The young defender has featured in all four of England’s game at the tournament and is joined in the squad by fellow young Reds Harvey Davies and Luke Chambers.

    But what do we know about the Jarell Quansah?

    Quansah is a 19-year-old centre-back who joined Liverpool’s academy as a five-year-old, having grown up in Warrington. He signed his first professional deal with the Reds in February 2021.

    Having captained the Under-18s to the FA Youth Cup final in 2021, where they were beaten by Aston Villa, he made the step up to the Under-23s last season. He appeared 15 times in the Premier League 2 as he established himself as a regular in Barry Lewtas’s side. Quansah also featured in the Lancashire Senior Cup final where the Reds Under-23s beat their Burnley counterparts 1-0.

    He represented the Under-19 side in the UEFA Youth League and featured in two EFL trophy defeats against Bolton and Port Vale.

    However, his high watermark so far came when he was included in the matchday squad for the Premier League fixture against Tottenham in December. Three days later, he was on the bench again as Jurgen Klopp's side emerged victorious over Leicester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-final.

    Described as a ‘leader’, ‘real defender’ and ‘man mountain’ by Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, Liverpool’s Under-18s manager, Quansah plays mainly at centre-back but can also play right-back. He has been compared to Liverpool first-teamers Joel Matip and Joe Gomez on occasions.

    Quansah is highly-rated at the club and is known to be comfortable on the ball and blessed with great pace.

    The young defender’s older brother is also a footballer, having played for Stalybridge Celtic last season in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

    Ahead of next year, with Billy Koumetio having joined Austria Wien on loan and Rhys Williams and Sepp van den Berg also likely to temporarily depart Anfield, Quansah is expected to have the opportunity to become a key man for the Reds’ Under-21s.

    In fact, he statistically outperformed Koumetio last season, who he often partnered at the back. In the UEFA Youth League, Quansah averaged more defensive duels (5.6 per 90) than Koumetio (2.83), and enjoyed a better defensive duel success rate (58.3 per cent over 54.2 per cent), as per Wyscout. He also won 77.3 per cent of his 3.46 aerial duels per 90 and averaged 6.45 interceptions — again outperforming Koumetio.

    There may also be the chance for Quansah to become more involved in first team training which will only benefit the Warrington-born defender's development.

    But for now, full focus for Quansah and his England teammates will be on Friday’s European Championship final against Israel. Ian Foster’s side, who are reportedly an extremely tight knit group off the field, having bonded over reality TV show Love Island, will aim to win the tournament for the first time since 2017 - England’s squad then included current internationals Mason Mount, Reece James and Aaron Ramsdale.

    Whatever happens, after a well-deserved rest, Quansah will return to Liverpool’s Kirkby training ground full of confidence and as a more familiar name to Reds supporters .

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