With This Is Anfield sponsoring Liverpool loanee Paul Glatzel throughout his season with Tranmere Rovers in 2021/22, the striker sat down to discuss his story so far.
Glatzel, the 20-year-old Scouser with German parents, has moved to Prenton Park for his first taste of senior football, having endured a difficult last two years on Merseyside.
After a breakthrough campaign that saw him score 29 goals and lay on 10 assists in 34 games at academy level in 2018/19, the youngster was called into Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds squad for pre-season.
Unfortunately, his first appearance of the summer – ironically against Tranmere – was also his last as he suffered an ACL injury that would rule him out for a year.
Klopp pledged that he would remain “one of his boys,” with Glatzel given a new contract and allowed to undertake his rehabilitation at the first-team training ground, but a series of setbacks has led him to gain experience with Tranmere.
As part of This Is Anfield’s 20-year anniversary celebrations, we are sponsoring Glatzel on his loan with Rovers, and for every goal he scores for the club, a £20 donation will be made to Fans Supporting Foodbanks.
Here’s what happened when This Is Anfield caught up with Paul before the start of the League Two season.
Making the breakthrough with 29 goals and 10 assists in 2018/19…
“It was a good season for me to be playing in the academy, but I’ve had a few injury-hit seasons since then. I can’t really look too much into the past because it’s a few seasons ago that I was doing so well and scoring the goals. I just need to focus on getting back into this season and playing as many games as I can, scoring goals, creating chances and hopefully helping the team as much as I can.”
On his ACL injury playing against Tranmere in 2019…
“It was definitely one of the toughest moments in my career, going from such a high, playing for the first team in a pre-season friendly and looking to go on the pre-season tour, to then come here to Tranmere, getting injured and doing my ACL. It did leave a bad memory for me here, so when I came back out here against Rangers it was in the back of my mind at the start. I just hope I can erase that memory and make better memories in front of the fans here and produce for the team.”
Academy team-mates like Curtis Jones making the grade…
“It’s massive. I’m proud of all the boys that have managed to achieve what they’ve achieved. I’ve been a bit unlucky with injuries, but it’s always nice to see them do well. It shows you that there’s a pathway there if you’ve got the right mentality, and if you get lucky enough to take the chance it is there for you. So it’s good to see the boys do well.”
A new contract and Klopp’s praise after the ACL injury…
“It was a massive confidence boost. Obviously, I was down at that particular time, and to see that the club had faith in me and the manager had faith in me – and he wanted me around the training ground as well to do my rehab – it definitely helped me mentally. It was a tough time for me and my family as well, because obviously they suffer with me, so it was great to see that the club and the faith and the support in me. Hopefully I can repay them in the future.”
Training with Liverpool’s first team on his return…
“It’s where you want to be, when you’re in physio every day with the long rehab that an ACL injury brings, it’s good to then get back to where you were before essentially and to be training again. It’s just good to be out there again. It puts a smile on your face because that’s what you want to be doing, you want to be training and playing. To be back training with them for a little bit was a boost and it was good for me.”
Speaking German with Klopp…
“When I was around the training ground he tended to speak to me in German. I think if he has the opportunity to talk to the lads in German – because there’s a few of the boys there that can speak German – he tends to take that opportunity. It’s good to be able to speak to him in his native language.”
England or Germany in the future?
“It’s always a tough question. I haven’t made my mind up. Obviously, it’s a long way away at the moment. My family are German and I can play for both, but I’d like to make my family proud. I’m sure they’d be proud either way but I haven’t made a decision on that. That’s not the main focus for me at the moment.”
Did he speak to Van Dijk when he had his ACL injury?
“He was there when I did mine. I didn’t really get to speak to him because I was down with the under-23s again, because I had another few injuries. But he’s obviously been through it now, Joe’s been through it and Ox as well who had done it previously, so I’m sure Ox helped him a lot.”
Who helped him through his rehab?
“I had Nathaniel Clyne who did his knee at a similar time, so me and him were quite close, always in the gym together doing pretty much similar exercises. It is good to have someone because you tend to push each other along as well. There are some days where one of you is down and the other one’s still got the motivation to drag you through and then vice versa. So it is good to have a companion in the gym if you like.”
On the Kirkby redevelopment…
“It’s amazing, brilliant facilities. It just helps you to want to improve even more. When you go in there and the facilities are great, there’s no excuse really not to kick on and carry on doing what you need to do. It’s brilliant.”
What has Jay Spearing told him at Tranmere?
“He’s given me quite a bit of advice. He knows what it’s like to come through at Liverpool. He knows what it’s like as well to then have to move on, to go on loan or to get first-team appearances. He spoke to me quite a bit about that, and obviously there’s other boys in the squad who have got the experience that I need really and that I can learn from. So it’s good to be training with a lot of the lads who have had first-team experience. I’m just looking to learn from them and look up to them really.”
On playing a new left-sided role for Tranmere…
“It’s a little bit different, something to get used to, but it’s still in the attacking half of the pitch and hopefully I can still produce and score goals and create chances. It’s something to get used to but I’m looking forward to it.”
Targets for the season…
“For me personally, because I missed quite a few games last season and the season before with injuries, it’s massive to just be playing as many games as I can really, especially in this first-team environment. Hopefully I can bring the performances that come with that, score goals and create goals, and just be there for the team. I’ve not set myself any numbers as such, because I just want to be out there playing as many games as I can, then hopefully the numbers come with that.”
On This Is Anfield’s pledge to donate £20 to Fans Supporting Foodbanks for every goal he scores at Tranmere…
“That sounds good. So hopefully I can score goals and we can all be happy!”
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