Kaide Gordon has explained how being part of the Liverpool squad that travelled to Austria and France in the summer has helped him adjust to life in the first team.
Gordon made an instant impact with the under-18s following his arrival from Derby County and scored on his U23s debut in May before being permanently promoted to the higher age group this season.
The teenager also caught the eye of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp when part of a group of Academy players who trained with the senior squad during pre-season.
As well as being part of the group that travelled to Saalfelden, Tirol and Evian in the summer, Gordon also featured in several pre-season friendlies including the Anfield win over Osasuna.
The youngster became the fifth-youngest player to feature in a competitive Liverpool first-team game when, aged 16 years 351 days, he started the Carabao Cup win at Norwich City back in September.
A start and a goal in the FA Cup win over Shrewsbury Town then followed at the start of this month before Gordon came off the bench to make his Premier League debut last weekend.
The 17-year-old became Liverpool’s fourth-youngster player to feature in a league match when he came on as a substitute with 10 minutes remaining in the 3-0 win over Brentford.
And Gordon believes the time he spent away with Klopp’s side in the summer has helped him make the step up with ease.
“I think it helped me bond with the team,” the forward said. “I’d trained with them a few times, but especially when you’re away for a month you get to know everyone much better because you’re with each other every day and it improves you because you’re training with them every day.”
But even though Gordon was one of the youngest members on the trip, that didn’t prevent him from having to do a forfeit after his team finished last in a players and staff quiz.
“Yes, I know… I know. We lost in the quiz, so I had to do a dance with some of the other players and staff,” he recalled to Liverpoolfc.com.
“It wasn’t too bad, to be fair. We all just got on with it and just did it. We just thought we’d just go for it – we lost, so we might as well just go for it.”
Gordon was able to spend time working with Mohamed Salah in the summer after making the step up to the first team.
Salah has been in fine form for Liverpool this season, scoring 23 times in 26 appearances in all competitions for Klopp’s side.
And Gordon has explained how he has loved being able to learn from Salah, who he believes to be the best player in the world at this moment in time.
He said: “It’s helped me a lot seeing him, especially because Mo plays in my position so seeing what he does.
Get all the latest Liverpool breaking news, team news, transfer rumours, injury updates plus analysis of what’s next for the Reds.
You’ll also get the latest transfer talk and analysis every day for FREE!
“He is the best player in the world right now, so watching him and the extras he does really helps. It pushes me to try to get onto his level.
“The different types of positions he picks up, he scores from anywhere, he doesn’t just stay out wide, he drifts inside and things like that, so that’s definitely helped.
“He does a lot of work in the gym and he helps me with that as well; I’ve done some sessions with him. Mo really helps. I definitely couldn’t have a better role model, Mo does everything right.”