Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has told the Liverpool Echo ahead of tomorrow’s Carabao Cup game with Lincoln City that he hopes Billy Koumetio will be ready to play.
The young central defender is yet to make his debut for the Reds but was on the bench as Arsenal defeated Liverpool on penalties in the Community Shield.
Lijnders was standing in for boss Jurgen Klopp on press duties as Liverpool prepare to travel to Sincil Bank tomorrow night.
He hopes Koumetio will be ready and heaped praise on the youngster ahead of the tie.
He told the Liverpool Echo: “Koumetio has a check now. Hopefully, he can play with the team tomorrow. We will see.
“He’s a proper talent who needs time. We want to give him that time. He is a tall centre-half and has a real strength in the air.”
The Reds are blessed with some quality central defenders, although the problem right now is that not too many of them are fit.
Virgil van Dijk is fit but Klopp might not want to risk him against League One opposition.
Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are both currently injured, with Fabinho utilised as a centre-back on Sunday at Chelsea.
With that in mind the chance is there for a youngster to stake a claim for a place and why not Koumetio?
The central defender played eight times for the under-18 ranks last season and has also two caps for the France under-18s under his belt.
Klopp has shown a willingness in the past to use the club’s academy ranks and Koumetio will be desperate to show what he can do in the game at Lincoln.
If he does impress he could earn more chances to shine as the season progresses.