Ex Liverpool hotshot heralded by Jurgen Klopp outcast to League One reserves for ‘commitment’ issues

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The Liverpool and Arsenal youth academy product was on the verge of Premier League breakthrough but has now been outcast by a lowly League One side.

Former Liverpool hotshot Ovie Ejaria has been outcast to the reserves at struggling League One club Reading after a remarkable fall from grace.

The talented midfielder was signed by Liverpool in 2014 from the Arsenal youth academy and the player would go on to hone his skills in Merseyside before breaking into the first team in 2016. Ejaria went on to make eight first-team appearances for the Reds, two Premier League cameos and in six domestic cup fixtures, and was just 18 years old when first stepping out under Jurgen Klopp in 2016.

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The youth academy product was even used as a shining example of dedication and promise by Klopp when speaking to fellow young players just a few months after his debut. Speaking in 2017 during a Tenerife training camp, Klopp said: “I told the boys before the session [on Tuesday] that last year, Ovie Ejaria came onto my plate, if you want. I saw him here first. I knew him, I saw him playing a few times, but here having him around for four days and seeing him in small spaces in the sessions against the ‘adults’ if you want was very important for him and for me.

“It’s an opportunity. You can see in their eyes they know it; they are really ambitious when they think about the sessions and we will try to do everything we can to give them the opportunity to impress. There’s no doubt about the attitude, there’s no doubt about quality – it’s only a question of are they already ready or not? If not, then they still have time. If yes, then let’s make the next step.”

Shortly after making his Liverpool debut, Ejaria was shipped out on loan spells to Sunderland and Rangers to gain more experience before heading to Reading on a loan deal in January 2019. The player immediately found his way into the Royals' starting XI and was snapped up on another loan deal the next season.

Having become a key member in the then Championship club's side, Ejaria joined Reading permanently in 2020 for a fee reported to be £3.5 million - that was the last time the Berkshire club paid a transfer fee for a player before a series of financial woes and embargos. Since then, the hype around the youngster has fallen away and now Reading manager Ruben Selles has taken to publicly shaming the star.

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Ejaraia hasn't played for the Reading first time in a calendar year since picking up an injury, but Selles admitted this week that the player is no longer injured and that it is an attitude issue keeping him away from the side.

Ovie Ejaria was a rising star at Liverpool (Image: Getty Images)Ovie Ejaria was a rising star at Liverpool (Image: Getty Images)
Ovie Ejaria was a rising star at Liverpool (Image: Getty Images) | Liverpool FC via Getty Images

The 25-year-old is training with the under-21 side in the meantime as the Royals boss cannot even find reason in his side sitting rock bottom of the third division to give the former Liverpool talent a chance.

Selles said: "He had this when we arrived at the club, he was injured. He has been injured until the end of September, so we have been building him up with the Under-21s,

"I am waiting for him to get his form and be able to play games and then I will decide. He needs to show his best. Right now, he is not injured he is building up form to be able to play. He needs to show that he wants to play for us and is fully ready. He needs to show that he wants to play and do things for this football club.

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"He needs to be fully fit to play football matches and when we have decided that he is fully fit we will review the parameters of commitment. He will play if we decide he will play. He needs to show a lot if he wants to play for me."

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