The Liverpool U18 defender – Jarell Quansah speaks in an exclusive interview to Ghana Sports’ El Akyereko and discusses a range of issues.

The 16-year-old central defender has gatecrashed the Liverpool squad and is the first choice for Barry Lewtas in the U18 version of the Premier League. Despite being at such a tender age Jarell Quansah has braced himself up for the challenges and demands of maintaining an automatic berth in the squad. “Its good to get game time especially in my position being a younger one in the whole age group. Playing center back comes most natural to me but when the manager decides to play me another position I will always give 100%.”

However during the weekend’s 4-3 triumph over Manchester United at Liverpool’s Academy Grounds in Knowsley – Merseyside, manager Lewtas opted to start French starlet Billy Koumetio at the expense of Quansah. And, the prodigious talent is mentally ready for the challenge of holding down his place in the squad.“Yes, to keep my place in the team will be hard and now to regain it will be tougher but I think I have the right attitude which will push me a long way in terms of fighting for a place in the starting 11.”

Jarell Quansah is a regular for England in the U18 Premier League and England U17
Jarell Quansah is a regular for England in the U18 Premier League and England U17

Jarell’s elder brother Keenan Quansah is a professional football and has had spells at various league sides in England. But, that football gift in the DNA of him and his brother comes from their grandfather who was a Ghana international during the late 1950s and early 60s. “Yes 100% I think because my whole family has the same beliefs which is instilled in all of us it creates a good competitive environment in which I can take into football.”

The promising defender has been at Liverpool since age 5 and has watched many world class icons like Jamie Carragher and Virgil van Dijk grace the Anfield podium and just like other Liverpool youngsters he is deriving his motivation to succeed from VVD’s success as the best player in Europe. “[I’ve been at Liverpool for roughly 12 years now]. Always a dream not just for me but for everyone at Liverpool so everyone is always pushing each other so they can reach there full potential. For me my goal is to be the best player in the world no doubt.”

Athletic and strong - Quansah's grandfather was a Black Stars player
Athletic and strong – Quansah’s grandfather was a Black Stars player

Determined to win the Ballon D’or one day, says his inspiration and drive comes from friends and family who are constantly keeping him on his toes as he keeps his dream of being the best alive. “Obviously people around me like friends and family [help a lot in keeping my focus on] but I’m in it for myself as well to prove to myself that I can achieve anything I believe in.”

Modern center-backs like Sergio Ramos and van Dijk are all utility and add precious goals to their game. This is a quality you can easily identify with the game of Quansah. He has already scored a number of goals for England at U16 and U17 levels while his goals proved precious for Liverpool during a tournament success outside of the United Kingdom. “Very important as it adds another selling point so in order to get to the top I think adding goals will definitely help it along the way. For example when I scores at England I think I proved to a few people that I am more than just a center back and can score when the opportunity arises.”

Despite being an England youth international he has left the door opened for Ghana
Despite being an England youth international he has left the door opened for Ghana

He says he wants to win everything available in the game. “I would like to win everything both individually and as a team.”

With his grandfather from Ghana and a former Black Stars player Jarell is eligible to represent Ghana as well as England where he was born and Scotland where one of his parents comes from. Despite already being an England youth international he has still left the door opened to Ghana and Scotland by saying he is not sure where his international future lies. “I’m not sure yet but would definitely honoured to represent any [of the] national team.”

He has a message for Ghanaian fans who support Liverpool and says he is hoping to mount the Anfield stage and his best to their beloved club. “I would love to see them so I can inspire them and I hope I can perform for them if and when I make it to the first team.”

By El Akyereko

Follow the writer on Twitter: @Akwasiakyereko

Ghana Sports Online

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