Kaide Gordon Player Profile: Liverpool FC

kaide gordon lfc

When it comes to Liverpool Football Club, players know that they will have a chance of breaking through if they’re good enough. Names like Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard are known around the world thanks to what they achieved with the Reds, which is why many players are keen to sign for the club’s Academy at a young age and see if they too can make a name for themselves.

Under the management of Jürgen Klopp, players were given countless opportunities to impress the manager and break into the first team, thanks in no small part to the way that the manager treated the domestic cups much of the time.

Whilst it would be untrue to say that Klopp all but abandoned the FA Cup and League Cup, winning the former once and the latter twice during his time at Anfield, it is certainly fair to say that he used the competitions to bed-in younger players and give senior ones the chance to get back to match fitness.

Kaide Gordon is one such player who benefited from the manager’s desire to see what the Academy had to offer, having arrived at Anfield from Derby County in the February of 2021 with the reputation of being the best 16-year-old in the country. Despite an injury hit spell, Gordon’s was a name that was soon on the lips of most supporters.

Who is Kaide Gordon?

Kaide Gordon was born in Burton-on-Trent on the fifth of October 2004. In 2013, the player joined the Derby County youth setup at Under-9s level, with the club soon realising just what a talent they had on their hands. The Rams did what they could to keep his ability under wraps, eschewing the opportunity to stick him with a label such as the ‘new Messi’. Even so, he was too good to escape the attention of the big boys for too long, with Manchester United and Liverpool vying over his signature after he had made his way through the ranks at Derby.

He played Under-16s football when he was just 14, being given his first-team debut by Wayne Rooney when the Rams defeated Birmingham City 4-0 under the former Everton player.

His older brother, Kellan, had also played for Derby County before playing for Mansfield Town; not quite making the grade in the same way that Kaide seems destined to. Importantly for Liverpool, it wasn’t just his ability on the football pitch that saw him capture the attention of the scouts, with those at Moor Farm quick to point out his good attitude.

That is a big part of the reason why Liverpool decided to pay £1.1 million to sign him, with a promise that the fee could rise as high as £3.4 million if he meets certain requirements. Having signed Harvey Elliott from Fulham in 2019 and given him plenty of chances, Gordon felt that Anfield was the place to go.

It was a march between Derby’s Under-18s and Liverpool’s side in the same age group that finally persuaded the club to sign him. Having started on the left, he was moved over to the right and demonstrated quick, skilful feet as well as intelligence in front of goal. Liverpool moved themselves to the front of the queue to sign him, which was confirmed on the fifth of February 2021.

Derby County received an undisclosed fee for the player, which was believed to be in the region of £1 million that would rise to £3 million when add-ons were taken into account, presuming that he reaches certain milestones with the club.

He was just 16-years-old when he signed for Liverpool, but Gordon had been impressing people on the football pitch since long before then. He was just seven when people watched him play and asked ‘Who on earth is this kid?‘. Having played for Liverpool’s Under-18s, he was quickly moved to the Under-23s, where he also impressed.

A mere seven months after his arrival at the club, Gordon was included in the squad for a month-long training camp in Austria and France, such was the extent to which he was considered to be a potential star of the future for the Reds. Little wonder, then, that there was an immense sense of pride for his family.

Liverpool Debut & Injury Hell

Pep Lijnders was the man that really fought the case for Gordon to feature in the Liverpool team, flagging him up to Jürgen Klopp for the manager to use him the Carabao Cup. His first-team debut came in that competition in a game against Norwich City on the 21st of September 2021.

Speaking on the matter, Lijnders said, “About Kaide, before pre-season we always make sure that our biggest talents start a week earlier than we start. They start with the under-23s training and I went to the u-23s training ground to watch and I see one player and he has fire in each moment he touched the ball. He passes players like they are not standing there so I call Jurgen like, ‘Wow, we have a new player here.'”

Gordon played the full 90 minutes of the game, which Liverpool won 3-0. Though he didn’t score, he impressed enough to mean that he was given more chances later in the season. He was part of the starting XI for the game against Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup third round on the ninth of January 2022, opening the scoring for the Reds by netting an equaliser in the 34th minute.

He was substituted off after 80 minutes for another promising youngster in the form of Melkamu Frauendorf, receiving an ovation from the Anfield crowd. He then made his first Premier League appearance, coming off the bench abasing Brentford.

That was followed up with another show of faith in the youngster when he started in the second-leg of the League Cup semi-final against Arsenal at the Emirates. The Reds won 2-0, with Gordon lasting until just past the hour mark before he was replaced by Takumi Minamino. Sadly for the player, a long-term pelvic issue associated with growing pains meant that he was out of action for more than a year and a half.

Having played four times for the senior side, Gordon was hit by injury in the February of 2022 and then didn’t make another appearance until he started the 2-1 loss to Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League on the 14th of December 2023.

An England Player

Gordon featured on the bench for Liverpool a number of times across the remained of the 2023-2024 season, also making substitute appearance in the likes of the 4-0 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League at Dean Court and the 3-0 win over Southampton in the FA Cup at Anfield.

He has also nailed his colours to the mast in terms of international football, representing England for the first time at Under-16s level. It was the third of September 2021 when he made his Under-18s debut for the Three Lions, coming close to scoring at Newport International Sports Village in a match that finished 1-1 in the end.

His performances for the Under-18s were good enough to mean that he was given his debut in the England Elite League squad when coming on as a substitute on the 22nd of March 2024. It would doubtless have happened sooner, but for the fact that he had that long injury layoff. It was a match against Poland at the Bialystok City Stadium, with the side, formerly known as the Under-20s, running out as 5-1 winners.

He only played the final 12 minutes of normal time, but it was a sign of how respected he is within the England setup that he was part of the side, given how much football he’s missed through injury during his career.

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