Joey Barton likens Liverpool starlet to Bristol Rovers loan hero from Newcastle United

Barton likened Quansah’s fearless attitude to one from a loan hero signed from Newcastle United
Jarrell Quansah is already earning praise. (Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)Jarrell Quansah is already earning praise. (Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Jarrell Quansah is already earning praise. (Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Joey Barton says that Liverpool starlet Jarell Quansah reminds him of Bristol Rovers loan hero Elliot Anderson, who is now strutting his stuff in the Premier League.

Quansah joined the Gas on a six-month loan until the end of the season, and was desperately needed after a shortage of centre-backs. Bobby Thomas was recalled by Burnley and loaned out to League One rivals Barnsley, whilst Alfie Kilgour was sold to Mansfield Town.

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The 20-year-old has been at the Memorial Stadium for almost a month, and has played in all the games he has been available for. Quansah suffered five straight defeats, but against Ipswich Town he was part of a collective unit that kept a clean sheet against promotion-chasing Ipswich Town.

In his post-match press conference, Barton likened Quansah's fearless attitude to Elliot Anderson, who was the Gas' promotion hero last season. Anderson arrived as an unknown quantity, but left as a hero after scoring the goal that clinched promotion from League Two, and has since gone on to feature for Newcastle United in the Premier League.

He said: "If you meet the boy, his character, he reminds me so much of Elliot Anderson in terms of nothing phases him. He was a little bit disappointed after the game on Saturday because we’d lost again, because he’s not used to losing. Those academy teams won’t lose four on the spin. Liverpool very rarely do that.

"I think you can see, he’s come into a side that’s not allowed him to hit the ground running. But with every performance the only real blemish he’s got is the penalty in the MK game which was trying to do the right thing - trying to win the ball."

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Quansah arrived at the Mem with much hype around his signing, especially given the lengths that Barton went to secure his signature. He went up to Liverpool's training ground and watched him in an Under-21's match, and made his mind up to sign him, persuading Liverpool to let him leave the Reds for the first time in his career.

The Warrington centre-back a month before joining Rovers had been on a warm weather training camp with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and other Reds stars, which is a sign of how much Liverpool rate him. Quansah was part of the England Under-19's side that won the UEFA European Championship's last summer, and was a key component to their success.

"The sky’s the limit for him, he can be whatever he wants," added Barton. Jurgen Klopp doesn’t feel the way he feels about you, training with the first team, unless you’re a good player. They’re the top end of our profession and I’m just so pleased that they trust us with that type of player because they feel so highly of him.

"For us, he comes here to a different style of football but I think he’s got anything he wants to be in front of him if he keeps working hard and he stays level-headed."

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Earlier in the season, Barton leapt praise on Middlesbrough loanee Josh Coburn, and said that he could one day see the youngster playing for the England national team. Barton was cautious in not wanting to put too much praise and risk putting pressure on his young star, but believed that Quansah had the attributes to play on the international stage one day.

He said: "I’m mindful of not heaping too much on the kids but, why not? He’s as good on the ball that you’ll need to be in terms of building out from the back. He’s going to get bigger, he’s going to get stronger, he’s going to get faster. His anticipation of the game is going to be better because more senior games get you that.

"The one concern we had when we brought him in was his heading ability because we knew he could leap, he could score a goal at the back post, but he’s getting well-versed in the physical, aerial contact. But the heading he’s doing from a defensive standpoint is what any senior would be proud of. He has an enormous future in front of him."

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