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How free-scoring Jayden Danns earned his Liverpool debut – “His attitude is top!”

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With Jayden Danns making his debut vs. Luton, This Is Anfield spoke to Liverpool U18s coach Marc Bridge-Wilkinson about his rapid development this season.

“Quite remarkable,” is how Bridge-Wilkinson agreed he would describe Danns’ progression when asked by This Is Anfield.

Last season, the young forward started to show his talents but ultimately found himself behind team-mate Lewis Koumas in the pecking order.

This campaign, though, he has come to the fore for the U18s, progressing to the U21s and now to the first team.

His appearance against Luton may have been fleeting, but it was reward for the work he has put in across the campaign.

Jurgen Klopp recognises his ability, as does his U18s boss Bridge-Wilkinson.

“I think Jayden’s personality is infectious, his character and his attitude towards football is top,” the coach said.

“He’s trying to get better every day, every moment of every day, and it’s no surprise to anybody that works with him the improvements that he’s starting to make.

“I’m sure that he’ll continue to do that.”

So far this season, Danns has netted 21 goals, playing as a striker for the U18 and U21 sides. This warranted a call-up to train with the first team.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 21, 2024: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott celebrates with team-mate Jaden Danns (R) after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

READ: Who is Jayden Danns? 18-year-old striker in Liverpool squad for first time

Bridge-Wilkinson spoke of how this motivates the players once they drop back into the youth setup, saying: “It’s great for them to see the level and feel what it’s like to be a part of that.”

That Danns came on and impressed with his few touches of the ball is made all the more impressive by his coach’s comments, who said: “It is quite a significant jump from the U18s.

“Again, the U21s is a jump also, but the U18s to that first team is a huge, huge gap.

“So to feel that, to see it, to witness it first-hand what the top players train like – how they train, how they do it, the techniques, the application that they put into each and every moment of training – I think it just inspires people to come back and think ‘actually, I’ve got to do more’.”

The Danns name will be familiar to many as Jayden’s father, Neil Danns, is the assistant manager of Tranmere and an ex-Premier League footballer himself.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 20, 2024: Liverpool's hat-trick hero Lewis Koumas (C) and double goal-scorers Jayden Danns (L) and Trent Kone-Doherty (R) with the match ball after the FA Youth Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Arsenal FC Under-18's at the Liverpool Academy. Liverpool won 7-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Like Koumas and Bobby Clark, Danns is one of a number of Liverpool academy players with famous footballing fathers. We asked Bridge-Wilkinson about whether this gives them an advantage.

He replied: “I’m sure there’s quite a lot of other younger boys or girls from Premier League players of past that maybe don’t get to this level but yes, I would imagine that it has an effect.

“I’m sure that all of the parents that we could mention have a real positive impact on their child, in the way that they talk to them and the way that they back up the messages that we give them here at the academy.”

READ: 7 famous footballers with sons at Liverpool – including 2 ex-Everton players!

Liverpool played against Luton with seven players aged 21 and under – that’s the most the Reds have ever fielded in a league game.

While injuries are forcing Klopp’s hand at times, his trust in youngsters is refreshing to see, especially as it seems to consistently paying off.