Kaide Gordon warms up for Liverpool

Liverpool’s comeback king is a generational winger ready to silence the doubters

We all joke about the infamous knee injury that stopped us from going all the way in football, but there are actually thousands of young ballers out there who genuinely have to tell that story and mean it.

Meeting new people for the first time, trying to impress on a first date or providing a fun fact in an interview that isn’t just a joke but an immensely torturing truth, knowing you were *actually* within touching distance of the dream career before an injury came along?

Yeah, no thanks. Harrowing. It makes us very glad that the knee injury gag we tell is a lie and the furthest we were ever destined for is the McDonald’s 10 minutes down the road from Powerleague on a Wednesday evening.

While we probably all think of ourselves as mightily unlucky that we weren’t blessed with the professional footballer gene, that can be flipped on its head when you hear about the endless injury horror stories.

Dropping out of the game before you’ve made it is one thing, but to be sidelined for a year and a half with a freak pelvic issue beyond your control – having completed a dream move to a footballing behemoth – is an entirely different level of crippling.

Kaide Gordon has had to live that frightening reality and watch as his peers move on while his potential sits on the shelf of uncertainty, but not anymore.

Upon taking over at Derby County as manager, Wayne Rooney immediately spotted the teenager’s talent and threw him in at the deep end with the first team while he was just 16.

In a sink or swim moment, Gordon swam and it suddenly a move to a Premier League big hitter felt inevitable, with Liverpool snapping him up in early 2021.

And then, after bright start, he vanished.

A nightmare became reality as a series of growth-related injuries ravaged him, resulting in him missing a year and a half of football before his recent return.

The return is what we’re focused on, though. With his pelvic nightmare behind him, Gordon is back and training with the first team. But remembering what he’s capable of at full stride, we don’t think he’ll be merely making up the numbers for long.

It’s a cliche, but the hard work really does start now for the 19-year-old winger, who was talked up as the most talented 16-year-old in the country by coaches at Derby.

A dream doesn’t have to stop just because of a hurdle. The fact Gordon has managed to overcome a nightmare that would’ve seen off most others at his age is testament to his resilience as well as his very obvious – and incredibly sickening – ability.

No 16 year old should’ve been as talented as he was. He’s got some catching up to do, but an older and wiser Gordon who’s had to claw back from the depths of hell? Yeah, that’s a frightening prospect.

Football is all about stories and there is currently no greater story cooking than the one he’s just beginning to ink at Liverpool with that majestic left foot.

Gordon has already forced his way back into first-team training. Don’t expect it to take him much longer to be out on the pitch for Jurgen Klopp.

The comeback kid is back in business after an excruciating hiatus, and he’s here to rock the Reds’ world in 2023-24.

By Mitch Wilks

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