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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 22 October 2020

Jurgen Klopp forced to play reserve goalkeeper as a striker in pre-season win at Huddersfield

Shamal George made an unexpected cameo at the John Smith’s Stadium.

George impressed for Liverpool's U18 side last season.
George impressed for Liverpool's U18 side last season.
Image: Dave Howarth

WITH SO MANY pre-season friendlies taking place across the world, it takes something very unusual to happen for people to really take notice – step forward young goalkeeper Shamal George.

Jurgen Klopp was forced to play the goalkeeper in an outfield position in their pre-season victory over Huddersfield, after midfielder Lucas picked up an injury midway through the second period, as the Liverpool boss used all of his outfield substitutes at half-time.

The German deployed George as an unorthodox striker, and the 18-year-old may have even gone on to score, had the linesman not judged the youngster to be offside as he broke through on goal.

“I was watching the game and organising the system with 10 and then they came and said ‘Come on, we have Shamal’ so we changed it,” Klopp said after the game.

“We played a strange formation with Shamal as a striker but he did wonderfully.”

The Reds won a penalty late on at the John Smith’s Stadium, but it was Alberto Moreno, not George, that took and scored the resulting spot-kick even though Liverpool were leading 1-0 at the time.

Klopp said after the game that letting the emergency striker take it would show “a lack of respect for the opponent.”

George is highly regarded at Anfield after a fine year between the posts for Liverpool’s U18 side last season and will be hoping to break into the first-team squad this season – as a goalkeeper.

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