Having not played a senior game yet this season, Nathaniel Clyne is closing in on a return to the Liverpool first-team squad in the near future.
The England international has been badly hampered by a back injury, which required surgery in December, but he now appears ready to hand the Reds a timely boost.
Clyne played the full 90 minutes of Liverpool Under-23s win over Stoke on Sunday and looks to be in contention to face Newcastle at Anfield on Saturday evening.
Under-23s manager Neil Critchley has been full of praise for the 26-year-old and the way he performed against the Potters.
Critchley told the Liverpool club website: “He has not played for seven months and the plan was to see how long he would go for. He obviously wanted to see out the 90 minutes, which was great for him.
“I thought he was a great example to our players in the way he managed himself during the game.”
Clyne’s return will be a major plus for Jurgen Klopp, who is now preparing for three games in a week – with a Champions League second-leg clash with Porto and an away game at Manchester United following Saturday’s match.
Other Liverpool first-team players to feature for the Under 23s and stake their claims for a first-team start include Joe Gomez and Dominic Solanke.
Solanke, who came on as a late substitute in the Reds’ 4-1 win over West Ham, scored a hat-trick for the Under 23s – with Critchley saying that you could see the ‘confidence grow’ during his performance.