John Aldridge explains who Sheyi Ojo reminds him of; Klopp sticking to his word over youngsters

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Ojo has been compared to John Barnes while Kevin Stewart also impressed in Sunday's 4-1 win over Stoke.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has said he is pleased that Jurgen Klopp is sticking by his word when it comes to giving players who have come through the academy an opportunity to shine in the first-team.

Sheyi Ojo made his first Premier League start for the Reds in the 4-1 win over Stoke City at the weekend, while Kevin Stewart - who signed from Tottenham Hotspur a couple of seasons ago and has played in the under-21's for much of his time at the club - was given his full Premier League debut at the heart of the midfield.

Ojo set up Daniel Sturridge's goal in some style to give the Reds a half-time lead at Anfield on Sunday and Aldridge has previously likened him to Reds legend John Barnes.

He wrote in his Liverpool Echo column: "It's the first time I've seen him in the flesh for a couple of years. He was only 15 years old back then, and I was commentating on an Under-18s game. I likened him to John Barnes because of the manner he was going down the left, and he showed a little bit of that on Sunday.

"You could see his ability then and you can see it now. I hope he can keep gaining in confidence because he has the talent, without a shadow of a doubt. You could see he was nervous early on but he worked hard, and as long as he keeps working hard in training, it's exciting.

"He could save the club millions if he can grasp what's needed and work hard, both defensively and going forward. The crowd were behind him as well, so that was good to see.

"It was a great game to be given a taste in with Jurgen Klopp resting players for Thursday's game – Kevin Stewart is 23 and a late developer, a little bit like I was, and he also did well.

"It's great how Klopp has stuck to his word and he is dedicated to giving the Academy players a chance. Some of the young lads have had some good game time this year and that's vital – Klopp has watched them in training but he'll want to see how they do in a match situation."

Stewart has shown his capabilities in the FA Cup ties and can hardly be regarded as a youngster, but the defensive midfielder has earned his chance and has broadly impressed during the six games he has played so far this season.

Some would say that he is likely to act as a squad player for the foreseeable future, especially during times of fixture congestion.

Even though Ojo only played 45 minutes on Sunday, you could sense the excitement every time the teenager got on the ball. On a couple of occasions he looked out of place and was trying to find his feet at a higher level, but he produced that one moment of quality that will make others sit up and take notice. Comparisons to Barnes may be a little premature, but you can see where Aldridge was coming from in that instance, and he will only get better with age. 

Both players do give Liverpool more options, and in Ojo's case a different option in that Liverpool have a natural wide man with pace to turn to on occasions as he continues to develop.

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