the Highly rated suite He had a great start to 2022 scoring his first goal at home against Shrewsbury Town in front of Cobb. At 17 years and 96 days old, he became the youngest player to score for the club in history FA cup.
Four days after that, on January 20, he was starting the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Arsenal In the Emirates where important achievements continued in the future.
“It was crazy,” he smiled during an interview with the club’s website. “I didn’t expect everything to come so quickly, but I really enjoyed it.”
His mentor is Liverpool’s right-back Trent Alexander ArnoldOn social media, he posted a photo of the pair cuddling with the caption, “The future is bright.”
However, joy was replaced by heartache as Gordon’s progress was cruelly derailed – he hadn’t played competitive football in over 11 months, since making his debut for the Liverpool Under-21s against them. Leeds United counterparts on February 7.
why? Shortly after that match, Gordon, who had been training regularly with Jurgen Klopp’s first team, alerted the club’s medical staff about discomfort in his pelvis. After the tests, he was diagnosed with teenage musculoskeletal problems, or, in layman’s terms, growing pains.
Club legend Steven Gerrard was affected by similar problems during his teenage years at Liverpool in the late 1990s, with knee and back pain that saw him sidelined for extended periods. Gerrard was told by medical experts that his pain was due to the growth in length of three inches in 12 months.
There is no time frame for recovery, but for 18-year-old Gordon, there is now light at the end of the tunnel.
After nearly a year, he has begun his apprenticeship at Kirkby and a return to work is expected to be just weeks away.
“He’s on the pitch, he’s running,” said Under-21 coach Barry Lutas after their 4-2 win over next-generation Paris Saint-Germain in the International Premier League Cup last week.
“The idea is to build him up and take care of him. He is eligible to play for the youth team (under-18), which indicates his young age. We have to be careful with the injury, but everything is fine and we hope he will be an option for us soon.”
Gordon was under the supervision of a specialist from the club’s medical department and his recovery required plenty of rest, patience and gym time. His work there focused largely on strengthening his core muscles to help offset pain issues.
He’s been running on an anti-gravity treadmill, starting with only about 20 percent of his real body weight and building that up until he can run with the full amount. This helped take pressure off his joints.
The staff described Gordon’s commitment to the recovery program as “first-rate” and were touched by the maturity and positivity he demonstrated. Manager Klopp and assistant manager Pep Leanders helped keep his spirits high.
Liverpool arranged for him to go to Dubai for a trip that was part of his rehabilitation, and a holiday last spring. Then Klopp made sure that Gordon flew to Paris for a party Champions League final vs Real Madrid It included him in the team’s pre-season trip to Austria in July.
“With such long-term injuries there is a lot of uncertainty, but Kaede is very professional and gives everything,” Leanders said after last month’s training camp in Dubai during the club season. world Cup There was a hiatus, as Gordon continued to work away from the main group with the club’s fitness coach David Ridings.
“I hope we can see him again, without putting pressure on the boy. Just to tell him we haven’t forgotten him. Even when the new boys come and make big strides, we won’t forget the ‘big’ little ones.”
Almost two years since Liverpool Gordon signed from Derby County For an initial fee of £1.1m, potentially rising to £3.4m with add-ons.
He made his way into Klopp’s plans for 2021-22 after catching the eye of Leanders during an under-21 training session at the start of pre-season in July. His reward was a place with the first team in training camp for a month split between them Austria And Francewhere Mohamed Salah He took him under his wing.
Leanders described Gordon as a youngster who “was shooting every moment he touched the ball” and “a typical Liverpool winger because he has goals and pace”. The Dutch coach told Klopp: “Wow, we have a new player here”.
Gordon first arrived in the Carabao Cup, which he won at home Norwich City in September. When the England youth international scored against Shrewsbury on his Anfield debut four months later, his mother and older siblings were in attendance.
“Even of everything I’ve done in my career, it’s probably the best feeling I’ve ever had in football,” said his older brother. said Keelan, who plays for League Two side Mansfield Town the athlete in time.
“My first professional goal was an incredible feeling but seeing my little brother do it at Anfield at the end of the FA Cup was crazy.
“In football, he’s still a baby. He’ll grow and mature and he’ll have a lot of experience. He’ll fall down, he’ll get injuries, but there’s a lot more to come. There will be tougher periods.”
Kellan was right on that front.
Having a good family around him was crucial in helping Gordon pass this 12-month test.
But Gordon was certainly not forgotten in Kirkby.
(Top image: Stephen Bond via Getty Images)
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