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  • Writer's pictureFraser Franks

Football Journeys - Episode One: Jordan Rossiter

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

When we conceived of the Football Journeys series, and settled on Liverpool's class of 2013/14, the player we were perhaps most keen to meet was Jordan Rossiter. His highs were well-known by Reds fans: compared to Steven Gerrard, scoring on his debut aged 17 and his struggle with injuries equally dramatic; with some Rangers fans cruelly joking that he was always 7-10 days out.

The lad we met was remarkably phlegmatic about those highs and those lows. Regarding Robbie Fowler comparing him to Steven Gerrard he says, with typical understatement: "it was nice of him to say that". Being understated and not hyperbolic about his early highs enabled Jordan to be stoic and calm when he hit such tough lows. Rangers fans stopping him in the street time and time again to ask him why he was still injured hurt him but, of the abuse he got online for something that was out of his control, he simply says: "a lot worse things happen in life"

Jordan was always a tremendous talent and regularly playing with boys older than him from a very young age. It wasn't just at Kirkby where he experienced incredible success: in 2009 his school were the champions of England, winning the ESFA Danone Nations Cup at Goodison Park. Surely a dream come true for the avowed Toffee? You wouldn't think so from the interview he gave after the game. When asked how he slept? "I fell asleep right away, like".

Such is the footballing talent on Merseyside that Jordan is perhaps not even the best known footballer to have been in that Archbishop Beck u11 side, with Everton defender Jonjoe Kenny playing alongside him. The area has such strength in depth that Jordan's former Liverpool Academy teammate Louis Robles asked us to remind him that Archbishop Beck weren't even champions of Merseyside that year. Robles' St Francis Xavier school beating them in the final.

It was when Jordan was 15 that he started to really come to the attention of Liverpool fans after Robbie Fowler Tweeted this:

We spoke with Conor Coady for the podcast, the captain of Liverpool that night who scored from the spot for the Reds. The Liverpool Echo's match report of the club's 4-1 victory over Inter Milan is here.

It was just two years later that he came to national prominence, scoring on his debut for Liverpool in the League Cup against Middlesbrough aged just 17 and, at that time, becoming Liverpool's second youngest ever goalscorer after Michael Owen.

It was a tale of another legend's Tweet as Jamie Carragher's post sent Jordan's Mentions through the roof ...

Those Inter Milan and Middlesbrough games, though, don't tell the story of this exceptional talent and superb young man. Ask any Bury or Fleetwood Town fan. He played an important part, under Ryan Lowe at Bury, as the club were promoted from League Two after finishing in second place and, such was his influence while on loan with Fleetwood from Rangers, that manager Joey Barton offered him a contract while they await his recovery from an ACL injury.

Far from being the next Steven Gerrard Jordan's style is much more suited to a withdrawn role as the anchor in midfield, winning tackles and spraying passes, with Bury fans christening him in 2019 "the Scouse Kanté".

Jordan's approach throughout our time with him was one of positivity. Nothing is perfect in football and he knows that. What looked like a dream matchup with Steven Gerrard at Rangers didn't work out. As far as Jordan is concerned, it's just one of those things. He expressed enormous respect for the Liverpool legend. Injuries conspired against him, Rangers brought some more players in and Steven preferred those players to Jordan. That's just how football goes. Of course he's disappointed about how it ended but he's moved on and is happy to have found his perfect Scouse matchup with his new gaffer at Fleetwood Town Joey Barton.

Finally, at the end of our chat with Jordan we asked him a series of quickfire questions - here were his responses:

We hope you enjoyed our chat with Jordan. If you want to follow him on social media, you can't. Jordan has a limited Instagram presence with only friends and family following him. Do follow Fleetwood Town on Twitter and Instagram though as he comes back to fitness and looks to get his career back on track. In our view, with his potential and personality, if he can remain free of injuries, and bearing in mind he is only 23 years of age, he still has time and the potential to make it back to the top flight.

Thank you, Fraser and Matt


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