The English Pogba: Profile of Sunderland-bound Liverpool ace Ovie Ejaria and how he compares to Manchester United star
Liverpool midfielder Ovie Ejaria is undergoing a medical on Wearside ahead of a temporary switch to Sunderland - but just who is the youngster described as the 'English Pogba?'
The midfielder is set to complete a loan switch to the Stadium of Light this afternoon as Chris Coleman moves swiftly to replace the departing Didier Ndong.
Born in London, the 20-year-old was snapped up by Arsenal, his boyhood club, at the age of eight and impressed in their youth set-up.
Fine performances caught the eye of Liverpool who tempted him to the North West in 2014, and it wasn’t long until he began making a real impression at Anfield.
Handed a first-team debut in a pre-season friendly against Tranmere Rovers in 2016, Ejaria’s combative performance persuaded Jurgen Klopp to hand the midfielder four further starts during the summer before the youngster was then named on the bench for a Premier League clash against Chelsea.
A first competitive appearance followed in the EFL Cup as he replaced Roberto Firmino during a 3-0 triumph, while Ejaria also featured in the Premier League as a substitute during a 6-1 win against Watford.
Despite rumours of a pending senior international call-up for Nigeria, Ejaria instead opted to try and break his way into the England national set-up and was a part of the U20 squad that won the World Cup last summer.
Consistent performances in the Merseysiders’ U23 side led Liverpool fans to dub the midfielder the 'English Pogba', with his playing style certainly similar to that of the Manchester United man.
Comfortable with the ball at his feet, Ejaria’s passing range will create plenty of chances for those in front of him, and some spectacular strikers in the past emphasise his eye for goal.
His tenacious nature is also well-suited to Championship and something Sunderland have been badly missing this campaign.
Highly-rated by Jurgen Klopp, the German is keen for Ejaria to experience regular first team football at the Stadium of Light and the midfielder certainly has the potential to excite the Black Cats’ faithful.