Liverpool Under-18 manager Neil Critchley has revealed his delight at the performance of Spanish teenager Sergi Canos who marked finally receiving international clearance by starring in the 3-1 win over Stoke City.
The 16-year-old made the move to Anfield in the summer after being prised away from Barcelona's academy but had been unable to make his competitive debut until he received an international transfer certificate.
He was finally able to appear in the Under-18s victory over Stoke and earned plaudits from Critchley who was suitably impressed with the way the young forward handled the disappointment of being unable to play competitive football for more than three months.
"His clearance came through which was brilliant news for him and us," Critchley told the Liverpool Echo. "It has been a difficult period for Sergi with not being able to play.
"We would be preparing for games and he would have to watch. He kept himself fit but there is no substitute for match fitness. So it will be a period of time to build his fitness up."
Canos was regarded as one of the top talents at the famed La Masia academy but Barcelona could not, by Spanish law, offer him a full time contract until he turned 18 and Liverpool pounced.
This week he will be away on international duty with Spain Under-17s along with Liverpool teammate Pedro Chivirella who joined from Valencia in the summer.
Despite Canos being forced to remain on the sidelines in the early stage of the season, Critchley has been impressed with his attitude as he adjusts to life in England.
"His attitude and demeanour around training has been great," added Critchley."He doesn't speak much English but he and the club are working hard on that.
"Sergi is such a likeable boy and he is always smiling. He is such an infectious character and he plays the game with energy and life. We are delighted to have him."