A lot of comments recently on the site have been slightly critical of us for overlooking a player in the first team perceived to have been ‘our best player’ (not our quote).
And it’s true, we’ve really not covered Ovie Ejaria much at all, following his very decent display in Kilmarnock, staggering goal in Russia and admittedly fortuitous finish at Fir Park.
He’s been a near first pick under Steven Gerrard since we signed him, and after a very slow start, has started to look much more the part in recent weeks, with those goals and some very nifty footwork.
So we’re delivering for you, a piece on the Liverpool academy graduate and his display and stats.
He has definitely improved. His composure has lifted, his awareness and work rate have hiked, and his goalscoring has come into play. He has two goals this season in all competitions, plus his range of dribbling and passing has matured noticeably. He’s been a darn sight more effective.
The not so good:
He doesn’t do assists – for a creative midfielder this is a strange state of affairs. He also struggles to open defences up and build chances – but then, he is still pretty dang young and still has to develop. He also sunk badly at Parkhead – by no means alone, but he was 100% out of his depth.
Ovie is a curious one – the lad definitely has talent, but something about him doesn’t quite convince us that he should be a first choice if everyone is fit. That said he’s been delivering a lot more in recent times, and we’re certainly not a lot weaker if he starts, but there’s little coincidence that the two best midfield displays we put in were either Halliday, Coulibaly and Arfield on Saturday, or swap Halliday for Jack against Aberdeen.
That said, Ejaria is promising – he has potential – we’re just not certain he’s quite the final product and meriting selection assuming everyone else is available.
But then, that is the point of a loan, no?