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Klopp hails 16-year-old rising star Hoever after impromptu Wolves debut

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Ki-Jana Hoever. Photo: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Ki-Jana Hoever. Photo: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Ki-Jana Hoever. Photo: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

'He is one for the future. When that future is, we do not know," said Jurgen Klopp when asked about his plans for Ki-Jana Hoever.

The answer was seven minutes into the FA Cup tie at Molineux, Dejan Lovren's premature exit allowing Klopp to show his faith in the 16-year-old.

Given Liverpool's centre-back crisis he may not have long to wait for his next chance.

Hoever became the third-youngest Liverpool player in history when he was summoned, behind the long-departed Jerome Sinclair and Jack Robinson.

With respect to that duo, their introductions should not be compared to this.

Neither enjoyed distinguished Liverpool careers, and when they made their senior breakthrough it was as second-half substitutes, sometimes by managers seeking to make a point about lack of strength in depth rather than signpost the future.

Nor did they start in a position of such unforgiving responsibility, any anxious stumble - and understandably there were a couple - leading to a chance.

The only statement Klopp was making here was of how far he expects the Dutch teenager to progress.

Liverpool fought off many European clubs to sign him from Ajax last summer because of the promise of an evening like this.

Klopp gives youth a chance, although even when negotiating the deal Hoever's family could not have imagined how soon the chance would come.

His progress through the U-18s, reserves and into the senior squad is rapid.

To put it into perspective, Hoever was only 296 days old when his skipper, James Milner, made his league debut. Little wonder Milner looked like a babysitter as much as midfielder for much of this game.

Should Hoever enjoy a similar career, he will surely pay a tribute to Milner for his guidance on his debut.

The Yorkshireman is such a shrewd player, shadowing the youngster during those nervous early moments - the first available for a pass and the quickest to reinforce when Wolves attacked.

It was cruel that Milner's loss of possession led to the opening goal, although he was given a pass with a siren attached from Alberto Moreno.

Here was Klopp's problem. While he sent on his academy players with trepidation, it was the senior stars he may have trusted more who caused most alarm, especially in a limp first half.

Moreno returned making his usual errors, Simon Mignolet's shot-to-save ratio remains low, and although Divock Origi will be able to dine out on his recent derby winner for the rest of his Anfield career, it looked like he was doing so before his excellent equaliser early in the second half. Daniel Sturridge could not assert himself.

Hoever's distribution was excellent and, despite some awkward moments, his self-belief grew as the game progressed - one particularly impressive slalom run from the back catching the eye.

With Virgil van Dijk absent, there was an expectation Klopp had left his technically-gifted Dutch centre-back at home.

On an otherwise bad night for Klopp, Hoever showed there is more than one at Anfield.

Telegraph.co.uk