Paul Glatzel believes his new Liverpool contract is “a massive show of faith” from the club as he recovers from his long-term knee injury.
The Reds announced on Wednesday that the 18-year-old had put pen to paper on a new long-term deal at Anfield, despite being expected to miss the rest of the current season with a knee problem.
Glatzel, who captained Liverpool’s under-18 team to FA Youth Cup glory last season, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament playing for Jurgen Klopp’s senior side in a pre-season friendly at Tranmere in July.
At Klopp’s insistence, his rehabilitation will be carried out at Melwood, in and around the first-team, and Glatzel says that fact, plus his contract, will benefit him as he seeks to return to action.
He said: “I was disappointed to get my injury at the start of the season, but it's a great feeling and it shows that the club has got faith in me. Now I can just focus on my rehab and get back on the pitch.
“The contract makes it easier. It's massive. Mentally, it's good to be able to focus on the rehab and know that there's people that have faith in me and they know I'll come back from my injury stronger and I'll be ready when I'm back on the pitch.”
Glatzel revealed that it would be eight months before he will be ready to return. The striker, who has been with the Reds since the age of eight, has already overcome one significant setback in his young career having suffered a broken leg as an under-16 player, and says that experience will stand him in good stead in the coming months.
“Knowing that I've done it before helps a lot because I know I've got the mindset for it and I know I can do it,” he said. “It's just the long process and I've got to believe in myself and trust the physios as well. I know I can do it, so it will help me.
“I was looking forward to pre-season, I'd done quite a bit in the summer to be ready for pre-season because I thought I might get an opportunity. Obviously half an hour in or whatever, and it's all come tumbling down and the season is gone for me. But with this contract now hopefully I've got the [future] to make an impact.”
Reflecting on the aftermath of the injury, he added: “It was quite a tough time, to be honest. I was quite low, probably the lowest I've been. Even though I've had quite a few injuries, that was probably the toughest to take just because I was on such a high and I was doing quite well.
“The days after weren't a great place but everyone got around me and I'm in a good place now just getting ready for the rehab and getting back.”