Gerrard: The moment I saw Teixeira I knew he was the best on the field

Steven Gerrard Doing A Luis Garcia

Steven Gerrard has been recalling the moment he first saw Liverpool starlet Joao Teixeira play.

Joao Teixeira made his debut for Liverpool in midweek, coming on as a late substitute over Fulham in a dramatic 3-2 win.

The 21-year-old did not look at all out of place, and  earned praise from manager Brendan Rodgers for his accomplished cameo display.

Rodgers isn't the only one; captain and matchwinner Steven Gerrard has been discussing the first time he saw Teixeira play, and his impact since being called up to the first team in recent weeks.

Teixeira actually came to Liverpool's attention in a NextGen Series match two years ago, playing for Sporting Lisbon, against The Reds.

Gerrard was watching the then teenager weave his magic, and remembers being struck by his performance:

He told Liverpool's official website: "It has only been a matter of time.

"I watched this kid a couple of years ago playing for Sporting Lisbon against Liverpool at Anfield in a youth game; I could see straight away he was the best player on the pitch.

"Credit to him, he has kept working hard. He has been invited to train with the first team. He is competing, he is trying to improve and learn. He listens - I've just been speaking to him in the dressing room and you can see he wants to learn and listen.

"He has got respect for the other players in the dressing room. This is the start for him now; I've just told him that he needs to push on, keep learning and building on what he has just achieved. He deserved his debut and he made a special tackle which helped us get over the line."

Teixeira has now thrown himself into the mix for a sensational start in the FA Cup clash against Arsenal at the weekend at The Emirates.

Gerrard stated the Reds are determined to keep up their winning run and pile the pain on Arsenal, but after naming an unchanged line-up in two successive fixtures, it's likely there are going to be one or two changes, and the Portuguese whizkid is coming into the ascendancy at just the right time.

image: © Ruaraidh Gillies

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch