RAUL MEIRELES has praised the impact made by emerging Liverpool team-mate Jay Spearing.
The young midfielder has been one of the success stories of the season at Anfield, having been handed an extended run in the first team by Reds boss Kenny Dalglish.
The Wirral-born academy graduate has made 16 appearances already this season, excelling in the absence of injured skipper Steven Gerrard, and forging a strong understanding with Lucas in the heart of midfield.
And Meireles believes the 22-year-old deserves his place in Dalglish’s plans, and has praised the youngster’s attitude and mentality.
“Jay is a fantastic player and a fantastic team-mate,” said Meireles. “He has worked hard in training, he deserves his chance and he is doing well.
“He is a good lad off the pitch as well and I am pleased for him.”
Meireles says he has been impressed by the influx of young players into the Reds’ senior squad, with young full-backs Jack Robinson and John Flanagan excelling in recent weeks, and the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Danny Wilson, Martin Kelly all gaining significant experience this season.
The Portuguese star added: “I think it’s good seeing some of the young lads getting a chance and for the future of the club it’s important.
“I watch the reserves on TV, and there is a lot of quality.”