Mabaya makes Liverpool Under-21 debut Isaac Mabaya

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter

ISAAC Mabaya made his debut for the Liverpool Under-21 side last night but started off on a losing cause following the young Reds’ 1-4 defeat to Bolton Wanderers in the English Football League Trophy, also known as the Papa John Trophy.

The 17-year-old, with a strong Zimbabwean heritage, was introduced as a 25th minute replacement for injured Matteo Ritaccio.

The young Reds gave a good account of themselves in the Group D contest but fell short against the League One side at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Nathan Delfouneso opened the scoring for the hosts in the 27th minute, with Amadou Bakayoko’s brace and a Jarell Quansah own goal adding to the scoreline in the second half.

The Liverpool Under-21 side fought until the end and pulled one back courtesy of Elijah Dixon-Bonner’s fine finish with 72 minutes on the clock.

Despite the defeat, Mabaya, who can play either in midfield or at full-back, enjoyed the midfield tussles alongside Tyler Morton.

Before last night’s dance with the Under-21s Mabaya, a key member of the Liverpool Under-18s, had made two appearances for the Under-18 side this season.

He last featured in the 2-5 defeat at Leeds where he was given a straight red card in the 24th minute for a foul challenge on an opponent.

He then missed last weekend 3-0 win over Sunderland due to the red card suspension and only to turn up on the bench for the Under-21 side last night.

Mabaya, who was born in Preston to Zimbabwean parents, signed his first professional contract with Liverpool last month.

He first attended the Reds Academy at the age of six and broke into the Liverpool Under-18s side as an Under-16 player last season. He featured 17 times and ended the league season with four goals and five assists.

The highly rated fullback is touted among the bright prospects at the Liverpool Academy, having also received call-ups for the England national youth teams.

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