Liverpool snatched up Joao Teixeira from the U19 Sporting Lisbon club in his native Portugal during the January 2012 transfer window. His tenure has included some promising outings on the U21 Liverpool side and an unproductive month on loan to League One side Brentford this season. Upon return from Brentford to the U21 side, Teixeira went on a miniature tear that earned him a call up to the first team last month. Since then, Teixeira has impressed in training so much that he was given his debut cap last week against Fulham.
In nine minutes, Teixeira showed poise and even played a role in the build-up to Liverpool’s late penalty kick that won them three points on the road. Teixeira looks to get more opportunities to demonstrate his ability considering the lack of bench production this season, as well as the amount of positive feedback he has been receiving.
The decision to insert Teixeira in that match, when Liverpool was pressing for another goal, says plenty about how confident Brendan Rogers is in the team’s summer attacking signings at this point. Those signings have provided next to nothing, evidenced by their Premier League match statistics this season:
Iago Aspas: 11 appearances, 0 goals
Victor Moses: 14 appearances, 1 goal
Luis Alberto: 9 appearances, 0 goals
The putrid performances of these players, along with Liverpool’s failure to bring in another attacker before the closure of the transfer window has necessitated Teixeira’s call up. Liverpool is desperate to find some source of reliability off the bench and Teixeira looks like he may be up to the task.
Liverpool figureheads past and present have done nothing but acclaim the potential of Teixeira. Brendan Rogers has been continually complementary of Teixeira, since he came on the reserve squad last month. Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has commented on noticing Teixeira’s potential early on, as well as his continual growth since joining the first team. Club legend Ian St. John went as far as to liken Teixeira’s debut to the birth of Wayne Rooney’s career. Teixeira seems to be embracing this chance he has gotten and is making the most of it, blending in with the team and doing all that is asked of him. If the hype is true, we may be seeing a Liverpool legend in the making. Hopefully he can continue his ascension in the Liverpool ranks this weekend against Swansea.