It’s been a rapid rise up the ranks for the Liverpool youngster, who is still only 16. Since joining the club in September from Ajax where he failed to sign professional terms, Hoever has been a revelation in the Liverpool youth teams at both u18 and u23 level. Initially in the U18 team to start the season, Hoever was bumped up to the U23 after just one match, as his quality was through the roof for that level.
Although he has featured mostly at right-back throughout his youth career, Hoever is very capable at centre-back, which we saw when he replaced Lovren in the Liverpool XI. His calmness and quality on the ball was extremely impressive, and you never could have guessed his age by watching him.
Although Liverpool lost the match, Hoever was quite impressive and really represented himself and his team well throughout the match, winning a full 100% of his duels, whilst adding an impressive 3 tackles and 4 interceptions. He became the youngest player in Liverpool history to play in the FA Cup, and the 3rd youngest to feature for the first-team in general.
You must be quite a talented 16-year-old if you’re already making waves and pushing out senior members of the squad. Well, Ki-Jana Hoever did exactly that, as his performances at u23 level were so impressive that Klopp had no problem sending Nathaniel Clyne out on loan to Bournemouth. This means that Hoever is likely to be Liverpool’s backup right-back as the season goes on, and train with the first-team the entire way (which he has been doing for the last month).
Of course, Liverpool are no strangers to promoting youth players, as the man currently ahead of Hoever on the right-back depth chart, Trent Alexander-Arnold, was also a youth prospect that was given an opportunity by Klopp less than 2 years ago.
For his national team, Hoever has risen up the ranks quite impressively. In the span of a year and a half, from January 2017 to September 2018, he went from playing with the Dutch U15’s to the U17’s (where he scored 3 goals in his first and only 5 appearances), and now looks set to make the jump to the U18’s or U19’s.
Liverpool may very well have themselves a gem in Dutch 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever. His quality and composure at right-back for youth level and at centre-back against Wolves in the FA Cup are promising signs for the future. At just 16, he is very much someone to look out for in the future.