Former Liverpool youth prospect Edvard Tagseth, who now plays for Rosenborg in Norway’s top-flight and is still just 19, has lifted the lid on what it was like to play alongside rising stars Curtis Jones and Rhys Williams.
Williams was also called upon from the bench against Midtjylland on Tuesday night after injury to Fabinho.
A couple of years ago, Tagseth was being spoken about in similar terms to Jones, but the pair have taken different paths since then.
While Jones is now a permanent member of the Liverpool senior setup and will not play much, if any, academy football this season, Tagseth opted to reject the chance to pen a new deal on Merseyside and move back to his homeland.
That decision has paid off, with plenty ahead of him in the queue at Liverpool.
He has made himself a key member of the Rosenborg team who sit third in the Eliteserien with two-thirds of the season elapsed.
On the latest Academy Show from Blood Red, Tagseth told the ECHO: “There were loads of reasons [why I rejected a contract offer from Liverpool]. I struggled a lot with injuries and when that happens, you don’t play as much as you want to.
“The only reason I went to Liverpool was to play football and when that didn’t happen, I thought my future there wasn’t going to be in the first-team, so I thought I would try something new.
“My injuries have settled now and I’ve been fit almost every day since I came here. Part of it is that it is so physical in England compared to in Norway.
“I had to think long about it and I remember the day I called my parents and told them I had made the decision to leave. It was really hard but it was good for my family to hear it – I wasn’t enjoying myself as much as they would hope.”
Liverpool fans may be seeing plenty more of Rhys Williams over the coming weeks, given the injury issues in defence.
And Tagseth believes his former teammate is a “top player” in the making.
He said: “When I see Rhys coming on [in the Champions League], I miss my friends and the coaches, but I’m happy I left.
“I had the Ajax game on in the background and I heard there was a sub coming on, so I watched the telly and it was Rhys standing there! It was amazing and he won some headers there as well. It was just like seeing him in the U18s!
“At U18s and when he played up with the U23s when I was there, he was always dominant with his physicality, and he is very good on the ball as well. I always thought he would become a top, top player.”
*Listen to the full Academy Show from Blood Red by clicking HERE.
Jones too, who played 45 minutes before being replaced by Jordan Henderson at the Johan Cruyff Arena, was someone who was always picked out as being one to watch as he came through the system.
On Jones, who Tagseth played alongside on many an occasion, including under the management of Steven Gerrard, the Norwegian added: “When I came into the U16s, you could see straight away that he was the main man and he was by far the best player.
“He continued to develop and he was the best player I played with – one of them, at least. You can see that he has the Premier League level in him now and he was only 16 or 17 when he went to Melwood and started training there.
*Do you think Jones and Williams will become first team regulars? Have your say in the comments.
“He is a really, really good player and it was a pleasure to play with him. He is very confident outside the pitch, on the pitch, but he expects a lot from you.
“Even in the U16s, he expects a lot from you and I think that is what has made him the player he is today. He expects a lot from himself as well.
“Even though he is a dribbler, he gave 100 per cent in training every day and he runs a lot and does the defensive work as well. If he continues his development, he will be a starter soon, which is great to see.”