Ki-Jana Hoever has claimed leaving Liverpool was the “best thing for my career” after swapping life at Anfield for a fresh start at Wolves in the summer.
The defender was a highly-rated prospect in Ajax’s youth ranks when Liverpool moved to snap him up aged just 16, and was thrown straight in at the deep end against Wolves just six minutes into an FA Cup tie in January 2019.
His performance offered plenty of promise for the future but chances were few and far between thereafter, with Liverpool eventually agreeing to sell the versatile youngster on for an initial £10million.
Since then Hoever has been a regular in Wolves’ first-team squad and, despite Liverpool’s shortage of defenders this season, the Dutchman insists he has no regrets about his transfer.
“It wasn’t an easy choice, but it wasn’t that hard either,” Hoever told Goal. “I knew my playing time would be more than at Liverpool, that’s why I made the decision. I thought it was the best thing for my career in the moment.
“Now of course with the injuries [at Liverpool], you don’t know, but I don’t think like that. I just thought like, if everyone was fit, how much game time would I have? Liverpool have such a great team still, maybe the best back four in the world, so it was really hard for me to break through there.
“And here the idea was good. I would be really involved in the squad, really a first-team player. It’s basically been what I expected, but I know I can still do better than this. It’s a good first season so far.”
Hoever was drip fed opportunities to impress at the start of his Wolves career but has been involved more frequently in recent months, now boasting a total of 12 appearances to his name so far this season.
He hails his new manager Nuno Espirito Santo as a “really good coach” while revealing he did not get to speak to former boss Jurgen Klopp before completing his move to Molineux.
Yet he still keeps in contact with some of his former Liverpool teammates, including compatriot Virgil van Dijk, who he says is always on hand to give out advice if he needs.
Sadly he didn’t make it off the bench to face his old club when the two sides met earlier this month, but is focused on honing his skills and providing Nuno with food for thought in his team selection.
“For me it’s about improving and being ready,” Hoever added. “We have a small group of players, so you don’t know when something might happen. You need to be ready.”