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Liverpool defender in nightmare debut for new club – sent off in 52 minutes

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It was a rough start to life on loan for Billy Koumetio over the weekend, with the Liverpool defender shown a red card 52 minutes into his debut.

Having arrived at Anfield from US Orleans in 2018, Koumetio has returned to his native France for a loan spell with USL Dunkerque this season.

The move to Ligue 2 comes after an aborted spell with Austria Wien last time out, with a lack of game time and financial red tape seeing his deal terminated in January.

But while the switch to Dunkirk can be seen as an opportunity for Koumetio, the 20-year-old’s debut was far from what he would have hoped.

Just 52 minutes into Saturday’s clash with Grenoble, the centre-back picked up his second of two yellow cards to put his new side down to 10 men.

Playing as the left-sided centre-back in a three-man defence, both of Koumetio’s yellows came from needless challenges high on the left flank.

Before his first booking, a sloppy error in possession had already handed Grenoble an opportunity through Pape Meissa Ba, with Dunkerque goalkeeper Arnaud Balijon left to bail his side out.

His second caution came after being turned by Lenny Joseph out wide, grappling with the winger before a lunging challenge from behind that saw him miss the ball.

There could be no complaints from Koumetio, who will now miss Dunkerque’s clash with Rodez AF on Saturday evening.

“As football is full of surprises, with 10 of us we were better,” Balijon told the club’s official website after the game.

“We found more solutions, this is perhaps something to study.”

SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND - Monday, August 23, 2021: Liverpool's Billy Koumetio during the pre-match warm-up before the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Everton FC Under-23's and Liverpool FC Under-23's, the Mini-Merseyside Derby, at Haig Avenue. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Koumetio – who is adept both physically and technically, with an outstanding eye for pass – has often shown issues with his concentration in recent years.

The hope will be that he learns from his rough start in Ligue 2 and returns much sharper, with his recent lack of game time after pre-season with Liverpool U21s likely a factor.

Dunkerque, who were promoted from the Championnat National last season, are currently 17th in the 20-team French second tier, with just one win in six games so far.