Liverpool starlet’s crucial advantage over rivals thanks to Matthijs de Ligt comparison


Billy Koumetio has impressed a lot of people playing for Liverpool in the preseason, and rightly so.Liverpool are calling for caution – also rightly so – on the player, who only turns 18 in November.

Center-backs tend to perform at their peak later than players in other positions – just look at Chelsea’s deal for Thiago Silva – so for a player who is only four months older than his compatriot Harvey Elliott, the road to the top is a long one. a.

In the short term, Koumetio has had one-on-one sessions with Jurgen Klopp as the manager seeks to brief the defender on positioning and tactical understanding.

The physical attributes are already clearly going well, with Koumetio at 1.95 meters.

Koumetio, it is understood, would prefer not to be defined by his size. His passing, for example, has already stood out in the 40 minutes or so pre-season where he has so far played in a Liverpool first team shirt.

Perhaps the first obvious thought when meeting the player is that his physique is that of a man, not a boy. But it takes more than that to get to the top of the Premier League – and Koumetio wants to prove he has those abilities too.

Josh Williams said on the Analyzing Anfield podcast: “This brings me back to a StatsBomb conference we attended and Ajax’s head of sports science had pictures of Justin Kluivert and Matthijs de Ligt.

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« [The presentation] were their actual age, but then there was their physical age in terms of their body location and De Ligt, although he was 18, had the body of a 23-year-old or something. Kluivert at the age of 17 had the body of a 17-year-old.

“Koumetio has the physique to mix it with adults like De Ligt. ”

De Ligt made his debut for senior Ajax squad in a cup match against Willem II, around a month after turning 17. Last summer, at the age of almost 20, he joined Juventus for € 75million.

His progress as a young player was undoubtedly aided by the fact that he was able to reach the senior level faster than most due to his physical qualities.

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David Hughes added: “You can’t get carried away but he looked very composed and intelligent in his room, which is rare for someone so young.

“Klopp later said he didn’t look like a kid – he had a kid’s face but for the rest of him the term he used was ‘wow’.

“When you have that advantage physically, you can start to polish other areas of your game. That’s why these players start playing regularly for the first team a little earlier than the others. ”

Koumetio has previously admitted that Virgil van Dijk is his role model and idol and he observed it closely in the 4-0 win over Barcelona en route to Liverpool to win the Champions League in 2019.

Now training alongside the center-back, the talented teenager hopes to follow in the footsteps of the two Dutch stars in the coming seasons.


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