Throughout the summer I continuously pressed the club to invest in its defensive ranks. The focus of everything was on the midfield revamp, but this came at the cost of the other areas of the pitch. My pushing to bring in defenders centered around a lack of depth. Jarell Quansah bursting on the scene was not on my bingo card.
Now, there is still a lack of depth within the defense but the youngster has done quite well in his short time with the first team.
Quansah made his debut during the mayhem at St. James Park where Liverpool stormed back from a man down to snatch a dramatic victory. His brief cameo there showed a calmness that belied his youth.
He came on again as a sub in the comfortable victory over Aston Villa. Jurgen Klopp was slowly learning to trust his 20-year old defender more and more.
Injuries and suspensions have now seen Quansah make a handful of starts across the Premier League, Europa League and the League Cup.
At 6’3 he brings the size you want in a center-back but he still moves well. His game recognition also gives him an advantage over pacier opponents. It’s clear he has been learning under Virgil and has absorbed as much as he can.
As I mentioned above, the trait that stands out the most to me is his calm demeanor in any situation. He does not seem overwhelmed at all and it feels like he belongs on the pitch.
His ball distribution is adequate but it can still vastly improve as can his jumping. He does not quite dominate the air like an Ibrahima Konate or Virgil.
However, those are all things that should come with time given his young age and profile. Yet, for as tremendous as Quansah has been for being thrown into the deep end, we need to temper what our expectations are. His emergence does not mean the defensive issues are solved.
Further investment is still required but Quansah has now given the club a new name they can rely on in a pinch.
He’s doing what Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips did a few years ago when the Reds were ravaged by injuries in defense. The only difference is I don’t think either of those players have the ceiling that Quansah does.
Professional football is a game of chances and that is the same for a player’s career trajectory. Do you take the opportunity when it arises? Thus far, Quansah has taken his chance with aplomb.