Sheyi Ojo made his first-team competitive debut for Liverpool, as a substitute in the FA Cup third round match against Exeter City that ended in a 2–2 draw. Ojo made his Premier League debut on 20th March 2016, replacing Joe Allen in the 87th minute in a 3-2 loss away to Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium.
Born: 19 June 1997
Youth career: Milton Keyenes Dons (2007-2011) & Liverpool (2011-2015)
Senior career: Wigan Athletic – on loan, 11 appearances, 0 goals (2015), Wolverhampton Wanderers – on loan, 19 apps, 3 goals (2015-2016), Liverpool – 8 appearances, 1 goal (2015-)
Just like another big talent, Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City), Sheyi Ojo has a Nigerian heritage which makes him eligible to play for Nigeria on the international stage. Unlike Iheanacho, Ojo has chosen to play U21 matches for England’s national team The Young Lions. The Manchester City striker, on the other hand, has made his full international debut for Nigeria’s national team by now, on the senior level.
Iheanacho will remain a Nigerian international, and he will certainly grow to become a vital member of The Green Eagles while Ojo is destined for trying to succeed for England’s senior national team, now that he has impressed everyone as the England U21 team reached the semi-final of this summer’s U21 European Championship in Germany.
Talking to Liverpool Echo, young Sheyi Ojo said:
“The manager asked me if I wanted some time off after the Euros but I said I wanted to come straight here (to California). I was keen to be out here. I wanted to be part of this. I’m not too fussed about a holiday. It’s been busy. After the end of last season I was working hard in the lead up to the Euros with the England training camp. It all paid off. The Euros were a great experience and I’m feeling fit now. Being out here is definitely best for my development. It’s been a good experience to be back with the team. Now I just want to kick on.”
Ojo is now on a mission to build on the achievements of last season. These achievements can easily be summed up by comparing him to England national team winger Raheem Sterling’s not so great achievements of last season. Raheem Sterling played 31 Premier League games with a total of 1920 minutes played. He made two assists. Sheyi Ojo played 6 Premier League games with a total of 321 minutes played. He made three assists; one more than the brand new and expensive Manchester City first team regular first team winger achieved.
Ojo ends off his interview with Echo’s journalist James Pearce, saying: “I’m pleased with how last season went but I know I still need to improve.” (29 July 2016)
Sky Sports News reporter Claire Corkery, wrote in a web article:
“Jurgen Klopp has revealed he is still unsure whether to send ‘wonderful’ Sheyi Ojo out on loan this season but admitted the England U19 star’s long-term future was at Liverpool.”
Jürgen Klopp was quoted as saying recently when asked about whether or not Ojo will be heading out on loan;
“I don’t know. We will have to see. Sheyi is a wonderful player that’s for sure and his future is 100 per cent at Liverpool. We don’t have to make decisions so early. We have time and we have to use the time. We have had some injuries. We need to make the boys as fit as possible. Ojo has only been with us for five days after coming from the tournament with England Under-19s.”
If Ojo doesn’t head out on loan this season he will no doubt prove to be useful addition to Liverpool’s new look attack. He has already shown in the games he played last season that he plays without fear and loves to attack. He also has an eye for goal something which he showed against Exeter City in last seasons FA Cup when he scored Liverpool’s second in a 3-0 win. In his first Premier League appearance he provided an assist for Daniel Sturridge in a 4-1 win against Stoke City.
Ojo is certainly a huge talent for the future and has the perfect manager in Klopp to help him progress as a player and become a regular for both Liverpool and England in years to come.
Written by Magne L Karlsen (@magneleokarlsen)