Liverpool’s forgotten man has new role after being "different class" in training

Liverpool loanee Sheyi Ojo has shown his versatility at Cardiff City after being hailed as "different class" by boss Mick McCarthy.

The 24-year-old has helped the Bluebirds climb from mid-table to push for the Championship play-off places since McCarthy took over as manager in January.

He made a late cameo appearance in Cardiff's 1-0 win over fierce rivals and promotion contenders Swansea City on Saturday.

And despite competing for a place in the side with fellow Liverpool winger Harry Wilson, Ojo has played a crucial role in Cardiff's surge up the table.

He impressed McCarthy in his very first training session and was thrust straight into the starting line-up for the new gaffer's first game in charge.

Ojo rewarded his manager's faith in him, scoring as Cardiff came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Barnsley.

Since then the winger hasn't looked back – and has been played as both a central striker and an attacking midfielder as well as in his favoured right wing position, having shown McCarthy he can adapt to several roles.

Ojo has been involved in six wins since that game at Oakwell, as well as four draws and just one defeat as Cardiff have closed to within four points of the play-off positions.

After showing he had an eye for goal as he pulled one back against the Tykes in January, Ojo was played up top for the next three games and netted his fifth strike of the season in a win over Rotherham.

He also played as an attacking midfielder when he took Wilson's place in the team and set up Leandro Bacuna's goal in a 4-0 thrashing of Derby County last month.

That was Ojo's seventh assist of the season – just two less Wilson has posted and four behind the Championship's top creator, Norwich star Emiliano Buendia.

His goal against Barnsley also came when Wilson was benched – and McCarthy said afterwards he knew he had a player on his hands when he saw Ojo in training.

Quizzed after his first game on why he had left out Wilson, McCarthy said: "I picked the team based on what I saw in training over two days. They have got to impress me there.

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  • “The ones who impressed me were Junior [Hoilett] and Sheyi Ojo – the two of them were different class in training."

    McCarthy is not the only one who has been impressed by Ojo.

    Wales Online's Cardiff City correspondent, Glen Williams, praised the winger while talking to the latest Loan Watch podcast from Blood Red.

    He said: "I really, really rate Ojo – he is a top player.

    "Kiefer Moore has been tearing it up a little bit and is maybe, pound for pound the best signing of the season not just for Cardiff, but in the Championship, and Harry Wilson comes with star quality.

    "But Sheyi slipped under the radar and at this level, he is a really, really good player.

    "He is not afraid to take on defenders and he pops up in some really good areas as well.

    "He went through a scoring streak a couple of months ago in the box and tapping home, which was an add-on to what he was doing out on the wing as well.

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    "Mick McCarthy changed the system as a result, so he plays Kiefer Moore up front now and Ojo or Josh Murphy with him.

    "That has really suited Ojo as well and he has scored two since McCarthy has come in.

    "He has really impressed a lot of Cardiff fans and they want him permanently but what that would mean monetary-wise, I don’t know."

    Ojo has another two seasons left on his contract with Jurgen Klopp's side.

    But with a star-studded array of attacking talents ahead of him in the Anfield pecking order, it remains to be seen whether he can play his way to a permanent deal in the Welsh capital.

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