By Scott Taylor
Allan De Souza will be hoping to build on his history-making loan spell with Finnish Premier League side SJK when he leaves Liverpool on a six-month loan deal to a European club. The Brazilian, 18, joined SJK in September 2014, and scored one goal and assisted four others in his eight appearances which led to the club winning their first league title. Sousa has since returned to his parent club where he currently trains with the first team, and has confirmed he will go out on loan in the January transfer window.
The deal will be good news for both parties. Since arriving from Internacional in the summer for £500,000, Allan has been awaiting a work visa, something he will obtain at the end of the current 2015/16 season. His spell at SJK was his first taste of professional football, so it will naturally develop his already exciting potential, something first team manager Jurgen Klopp has already recognised. In a recent interview, he said: “[Jurgen] Klopp often praises me enough. He says that he likes my football and I have potential, he gives some tips.”
Although it was beneficial for him on a footballing basis, it also made Allan mature and develop as a person, something that is needed to handle playing in the top tier of English football. The midfielder revealed how tough his first experience of professional football was, but also how it will help him in the long-term future. “In Finland, I trained in the morning, studied English in the afternoon and stayed home alone all night,” he said. At Liverpool, there are three fellow Brazilians who help the youngster settle in and help him to adjust to life in another country, something that the midfielder has recognised.
“Lucas, [Phillipe] Coutinho and [Roberto] Firmino are amazing people. They’ve helped me a lot. I always go to their house and listen to their advice, I can’t wait to play with them three.” However, in Finland, he did not have that luxury. He was the only player from a South American contingency in the SJK squad, so had as well as adapting to being an independent adult, Allan also had to learn to get around in his temporary home.
“I enter restaurants and ask for something to eat, but the waiter wouldn’t understand anything. I would leave apologising, and ashamed.” Due to the domestic season in Finland ending before the Christmas period, Allan returned to Melwood and back to familiar surroundings with friendly faces, but despite this, he looked back on his time at SJK with fond memories. He said: “It was hard, but I grew up with all this and today I find myself more mature as a man.”
He may mature even more as a person when he returns to Europe in the upcoming January transfer window, where he has been linked to loan moves in Holland and Belgium. Even though his destination is unknown, he will definitely be departing for pastures new. He confirmed: “Now I wouldn’t be available [for selection] in January because my work visa wasn’t ready, so I will be loaned out again.”
With just one goal for Liverpool U21s this season, Allan will be hoping he can further develop his football so that he can be closer to achieving his dream, where he will be “even more ready and eager to play for Liverpool.”