Liverpool winger Ryan Kent revealed that a heart-to-heart with Jürgen Klopp together with the desire to make the grade in the Bundesliga convinced him to take a year's loan-spell at Freiburg. The England Under-20 international could make his home debut against Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Germany, the next stage in Kent's development
After loan spells at Coventry and Barnsley, where he was voted Young Player of the Year and made 44 appearances last season, Kent played in seven of Liverpool's eight pre-season friendlies this term. He signed a new five-year contract last month, but with his path to first-team football blocked by Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané at Anfield, the 20-year-old opted for Freiburg after chatting to Klopp. The former Dortmund coach made it clear Kent has a future with Liverpool, but Freiburg have a reputation for nurturing young talent under their eccentric coach Christian Streich.
“Liverpool wanted me to stay and see the season out, but it was me who wanted to get game time. The boss suggested Freiburg would be a good move, because they have a good manager and mentioned that a lot of young players have come through the system there and go onto bigger things”, Kent told AFP today.
Kent's family in Dortmund to watch his debut
The player is hoping to start or come off the bench to make his first team debut against Dortmund this weekend and says family members have flown over from England for the occasion. “It's a good first game to come into, against Dortmund, and that is one of the reasons why I wanted to come to the Bundesliga - for the calibre of teams and opposition you face, which can only push me in the right direction”, he explained.
Under Streich, who is just as likely to lecture his players about current affairs as tactics, Freiburg regularly punch above their weight. “I can tell just from the short time I have been here that he has a big influence on the players”, Kent continued. “He's probably got a different approach to most managers, but so far we have got on really well”.