Jurgen Klopp has brought through a whole raft of youngsters into the Liverpool first team since arriving back in 2015.

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With Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliot and more recently Stefan Bajcetic all making their mark in the senior side in recent years, the Liverpool academy is bearing fruit that’s for sure.

Could the German be about to unearth the next big thing with defender Billy Koumetio? With change afoot ahead of next season, the 20-year-old may just emerge into prominence.

Who is Billy Koumetio?

The Frenchman arrived at the Anfield side in 2019 from US Orleans aged just 16 and his talent was obvious, with journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi lauding him as “promising” with the defender earmarked as a future first-team star.

It wouldn’t be long before he made history, with the centre-back becoming Liverpool’s youngest-ever player to feature in the Champions League aged just 18 years and 25 days. Indeed, Klopp looked as though he had another prodigy in the making.

That day was special, particularly because the "incredible" young talent - as dubbed by his manager - happened to be a ball boy on the night of that famous 4-0 win over Barcelona at Anfield. Clearly, Europe's most prestigious competition already has a big place in Koumetio's heart.

Klopp signed Ibrahima Konate in 2021 and the French defender was looked upon as the ideal mentor for Koumetio, with the youngster aiming to eventually take over from him in the centre of the Reds' defence in the coming years.

He was sent out on loan to Austria Vienna this season to experience first-team football at senior level and after making five appearances he was recalled in January. During his short stay in Austria, he won 60% of his duels, made 3.4 clearances and one tackle per game, certainly proving he can perform at a high level.

The decision to terminate his loan early could be because Klopp wants to keep a close eye on the player as he plays for the U21 side and since January he has featured eight times in Premier League 2, scoring once.


Although Konate is just 23 years old, if he continues his fine form at Liverpool then there will no doubt be a host of potential suitors lining up to take away from the club and instead of spending millions to replace him, Koumetio could be ready to replace him.

With nothing but European spots to play for between now and the end of the season, Klopp may soon give some youngsters a run-out. The young French sensation could be the future of the defence and all he needs is a chance to impress.