Sloppy Liverpool starlet who lost possession 17x failed to repay Klopp’s leap of faith – opinion

Liverpool laboured to a 1-1 draw against FC Midtjylland in their final game of the Champions League group stages on Wednesday night, with young midfielder Leighton Clarkson in particular disappointing for the Reds.

The 19-year-old was handed his first start of the season by Jurgen Klopp but struggled throughout the game in Denmark, giving the ball away with slack passing on a number of occasions throughout the game, when presented with the ball.

The academy graduate has been training with Liverpool’s first team for much of this season and considering Wednesday’s game was something of a dead rubber for the Reds, it was no surprise to see him involved.

However, his performance will be a cause for concern for Klopp, as it seems that he won’t be able to trust the Englishman to appear in any of Liverpool’s upcoming Premier League fixtures, as unfortunately, the Midtjylland midfield got the better of him on the evening.

As per SofaScore, Clarkson picked up a match rating of 6.1 for his performance, which comfortably saw him ranked as the worst player on the pitch from both sides.

During his time on the pitch, the young midfielder completed just 41/52 of his passes, resulting in a less than impressive pass accuracy rate of 72%.

He also gave the ball away on 17 occasions during the game, which is a worrying statistic for someone who, as a midfielder, is expected to keep the ball well and be accurate with his passing.

It could be argued that Clarkson tried too hard to impress, as of the nine long balls he attempted during the game, only one found a Liverpool shirt.

The young midfielder was also fortunate late on when his failed roulette attempt led to a Midtjylland counter-attack they looked nailed on to score, only for the Reds to be saved by a superb late block from Jordan Henderson.

He also won just one of his five duels in the game, whilst he was dribbled past on three occasions, suggesting that it might have been a step too far for the 19-year-old to start on Wednesday.

Therefore, it would be a surprise to see him feature for Liverpool again any time soon, as his performance this evening suggests he is some way off the first-team level for the time being.

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