Jarell Quansah has burst onto the scene and shocked the world. Before this season, only scouts familiar with the youth scouting scene and the Merseyside faithful knew his name.

With 2024 on the horizon, Quansah has exceeded expectations and proven himself to be a mainstay in Liverpool’s defense, if not one of the team’s stars.

Scouts always viewed the Warrington native as an exciting talent. In 2008 he joined Liverpool’s youth team at the age of five and in 2023, he made his professional debut for the Reds.

Described by scouts as a “man-mountain”, “promising”, and “strong and precise,” Quansah has not only covered the gaping hole in Liverpool’s defense with Joel Matip’s season-ending ACL tear, but fortified it. Going into the 2024-25 season, Quansah could be a starter ahead of Matip.

Quansah’s exciting performances have not only showed the world that the center-back is here to stay, but also proves yet again that academy soccer is a worthy investment for top-tier teams.

Quansah’s beginning

Before Jarell Quansah was leading the Liverpool defense to countless clean sheets and scoring goals in vital Europa League matches. He captained Liverpool’s UEFA Youth League squad and won caps for England’s U19 side, alongside players like Levi Colwill, Curtis Jones, and Anthony Gordon.

Quansah also completed a winter loan spell with League One relegation candidates Bristol Rovers, appearing in 16 total games. Quansah was one of the best players on that Bristol Rovers team despite his young age. That, and excellent preseason tours in Germany and Singapore, led head coach Jurgen Klopp to select Quansah as a reserve for numerous Premier League games.

Quansah’s true breakout game came in Liverpool’s energetic, come-from-behind victory against Champions League candidates Newcastle United. Usually-dependable defender Virgil van Dijk earned a red card off a controversial challenge. Quansah came on the bench in the 77th minute with the score 1-0 for Newcastle. He had a very exciting cameo full of composed touches, solid passing. His vision with the ball that helped him consistently find attackers upfield.

With van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté out against Aston Villa, Quansah started his first Premier League game and made the most of it. He completed a whopping 77 of 80 passes, three tackles, five clearnces, five of eight duels won, and 91 touches.

Jarell Quansah has broken into the Liverpool first team
Jarell Quansah has broken into the Liverpool first team

Jarell Quansah has broken into the Liverpool first team

With Matip’s season-ending injury against Fulham, Quansah got more playing time than ever, competing with guys like Van Dijk and Konaté for playing time in the Europa League and EFL Cup.

Why Klopp likes Quansah

Quansah’s most impressive attribute has to be his passing. Quansah ranks tenth in the Premier League for passes per game (87.4), while completing a whopping 91.7% of his passes, per FBREF.

He’s pretty consistent with his long ball, has an above-average vision. He can always find his streaking teammates upfield with a spot-on 60-yard dot.

Quansah is also physically imposing, standing at 6’3 and 183 pounds while possessing a lot of agility. Many compare him to players like Maxence Lacroix and even Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.

“If you would have asked me pre-season [if] he would be that good I would have been surprised. But since then, I saw him every day and I’m not surprised any more,” Klopp told LiverpoolWorld reporters. “It’s great to have a boy from our own academy with that potential and quality.

“Jarell…Virgil 2.0, reloaded. Yeah, he’s good.”

Quansah’s set to show his stuff even more times going into 2024. He’ll likely lead Liverpool into their EFL Cup semifinal date with Fulham, and he can expect some major minutes in the knockout rounds of the Europa League. Even though Van Dijk and Konaté is Klopp’s preferred center-back duo in the Premier League, Quansah should feature from the bench a lot.

Photo credit: IMAGO / ANP IMAGO / Isosport