Liverpool have signed Joe Hardy for an undisclosed fee from Brentford.
With Rhian Brewster on the verge of moving to Swansea City, Hardy has been snapped up by the Reds to come in to the U23 side in the absence of the 19-year-old.
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If you look at his stats without context, the Englishman looks to be an impressive striker. During his time at Griffin Park, he managed 40 goals in 80 matches, whilst he also plundered 11 times in 19 matches, adding five assists, for the Citizens during the 2016/17 season.
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However, it is crucial to note that those strikes for the London outfit came whilst playing in the club’s B team, and his appearances for City were for the U18 side. At 21 years of age, he has never played a professional game of football in his career.
This is truly a left-field signing by Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool hierarchy. For a start, it is almost unheard of for a club to sign a back-up option for their U23 team, which is what the Reds have done here. Why have they not decided to use one of the youngsters already at their disposal in that position? That would surely make far more sense.
It is unlikely that the Anfield outfit will have paid much money at all for Hardy, and the player himself will hardly be able to believe his luck considering he effectively failed to make the grade at a Championship team. The Bees reserves side do not even play in a league, with the most competitive level he has played at being the London Senior Cup against the likes of Dulwich Hamlet. It really does say something when an U23 side will arguably be a step up for him, or at the very least a move sideways.
The more you look at it, the less sense it makes. Either way, don’t expect to hear too much about Hardy in the future.
Elsewhere, Klopp suggests this Liverpool man has given him a dilemma.