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Liverpool’s new signing torments former club as £3m deal already looks a steal


Kaide Gordon tormented former club Derby County to help Liverpool ensure a winning end to their U18 Premier League North campaign.

Gordon, the 16-year-old signed in February for a fee that could reach £3million, scored the opener and had a hand in two more goals as the young Reds eased to a 3-0 win at the Academy in Kirkby on Tuesday.

Melkamu Frauendorf netted twice with Liverpool finishing the season with 75 goals in 24 league games – an astonishing average of more than three goals per match.

Calum Scanlon, a £500,000 arrival from Birmingham City in December, also caught the eye in a second-half cameo on his U18s debut for the Reds.

Third place behind Manchester rivals United and City was already assured for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side, who will now focus on the forthcoming FA Youth Cup semi-final trip to Ipswich Town.

With none of the players who started Friday’s quarter-final win against Arsenal involved, the U18s boss named a young line-up in which Gordon, cup-tied in the Youth Cup, and Frauendorf, whose progress has been hampered of late by injury, were the most notable inclusions.

The pair were joined in a three-pronged forward line by Tommy Pilling, a lively performer on his first start at this level.

Gordon took just 10 minutes to make his mark. Despite looking offside when accepting Isaac Mabaya’s pass down the right, the winger raced forward then cut inside one defender before showing good composure to seat Derby goalkeeper Alfie Roberts and slot into the corner.

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Roberts then denied Liverpool left-back Luke Chambers and Gordon was wide with one effort, while 16-year-old centre-back Stefan Bajcetic, making only his second start since signing from Celta Vigo earlier this season, did well to tackle Derby striker Bart Cybulski inside the area.

Frauendorf doubled the Reds’ lead on the stroke of half-time although he didn’t know much about it, Pilling’s shot striking him on the body and deceiving Roberts after Gordon’s free-kick from the left wasn’t properly cleared.

More deliberate, though, was Frauendorf’s finish four minutes after the interval, meeting Gordon’s left-footed cross from the right to prod home.

With the blustery conditions favouring Derby in the second half, Liverpool’s defence – in which the speedy Scanlon was introduced shortly after the hour at left-back – were kept on their toes.

But Liverpool kept creating chances, Gordon denied by Roberts after another strong run off the flank, Pilling heading narrowly wide and James McConnell close with an acrobatic volley.

Despite not adding to their tally, this was a suitable winning conclusion to an impressive league season for Bridge-Wilkinson’s side. Now to regain that FA Youth Cup.

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Mrozek; Wilson, Bajcetic, Jonas (Hayes-Green 76), Chambers (Scanlon 63); Miles, Mabaya, McConnell; Gordon; Pilling, Frauendorf. Subs: Kelly, Quansah.

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