Joao Teixeira - The 'next Deco' making an impact at Liverpool

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Liverpool signed Joao Teixeira one year ago, so how is he getting on at Anfield?

Joao Teixeira showed 18 months ago how easy it can be to clinch a move to Liverpool - score a goal at the Kop and impress the club enough to part with their cash.

He did just that for Sporting Lisbon's NextGen Series side in late 2011, that the Reds were persuaded to shell out £1 million for his signature, in a way reminiscent of how Cristiano Ronaldo's friendly performance for the same club against Manchester United accelerated his move to Old Trafford.

While comparisons to Ronaldo would obviously be unfair, Teixeira has had to deal with the label of the 'next Deco' - hoisted upon him before he even moved to the Reds.

Teixeira's signature is notable for one particular reason - he was the last player brought to the club while Kenny Dalglish and Damien Commoli were presiding over team affairs.

And unlike Coutinho's dream start in a Liverpool first team shirt, Teixeira has had to and will have to continue to bide his time. After signing he even had to wait six months to make his first appearance in the reserves.

A back injury meant he didn't feature at all until July, but since then the Portuguese attacker has been on a gradual upwards curve.

His first competitive match for the under-21s only took place in October, a brief cameo substitute appearance against Fulham. A month later he would finally show what all the fuss was about. 

With Liverpool trailing 1-0 to a Wolves under-21 side in November at half-time, Teixeira came off the bench to inspire a 5-1 win. He provided one assist and scored another.

On Monday night, Teixeira re-affirmed that bright potential, netting the winner in 2-1 win over West Brom's under-21s, with Jordan Ibe bagging the opening goal.

At 20-years-old Teixeira isn't the youngest prospect at the club, but he has plenty of time to show what he can do and force his way into the first team picture.

Chances to impress in pre-season beckon and potential loan moves also offer an avenue to showcase his talent, but for now his best bet is the competition which brought him to Liverpool's attention in the first place; the NextGen Series.

Liverpool face his former club Sporting Lisbon in the knockout stages tomorrow night in Portugal, and Teixeira will hope to be included.

He is certainly a name to watch and given Brendan Rodgers record so far of handing young players opportunities, the attacker has plenty of reasons to be happy with his progress in his first season and feel positive about the future.

image: © kong niffe

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