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Liverpool U23s teamsheet suggests 'sensational' 18-year-old could be in the squad v Leicester

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Jurgen Klopp’s message surrounding Liverpool defender Billy Koumetio appears to have had a literal effect with the 18-year-old not among the Reds’ under-23 team to take on Southampton this afternoon.

The Liverpool boss appeared to suggest that Koumetio was first-team bound on Friday afternoon after he provided a timely reminder of his track record with young defenders.

Klopp holds Koumetio in equally high esteem after he lauded the teenager as ‘sensational’ during Liverpool’s pre-season tour in Austria.

It leaves Klopp with potentially three inexperienced options to partner Matip against Leicester with either Nathaniel Phillips, Rhys Williams or Koumetio to pick from.

With two centre-backs already out for the majority of the season and Matip’s worrying injury record under consideration, it is increasingly possible that Klopp could be thrown a scenario where Phillips, Williams and Koumetio become his best options in the heart of the defence.

Koumetio’s lack of involvement for Barry Lewtas and the U23s isn’t to suggest that Klopp is going to start the Frenchman but more that he wants to see him become accustomed to the first team environment.

They want to show they are ready and we will see.” With that said, Klopp could be proving true to his word after the club opted not to risk Koumetio in the U23s match with Southampton on Saturday afternoon.
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