The 19-year-old, who swapped Pittodrie for Anfield in the summer, has had to be patient, recovering from an injury and then waiting on the nod from manager Jurgen Klopp to make his debut, which came as a substitute in the win over Napoli in the Champions League this month. He then followed that up with his first start, against Derby in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup victory.
“We are all delighted for Calvin,” said Goodwin, who grew up a Liverpool fan. “I was watching the Napoli game with my son and we were delighted that Liverpool won the game. We were equally pleased that Calvin got to make his long-awaited debut for Liverpool on such a memorable occasion.
“Napoli are a team that are flying in Serie A and in the Champions League. For Calvin to come on and make an impact and help Liverpool win the game was outstanding. It was the talk of the dressing room and the talk of Cormack Park the next day when we all came in. There are a number of people here who have known Calvin for a long, long time and are very proud of the strides he has made. But Calvin has had to be patient and prove to Jurgen Klopp that he belongs at that level.”
The teenage right-back made 28 appearances for the Premiership club last season, but was sold in June for an Aberdeen club record fee. He is only now getting his opportunity in the first team and has also been called into Steve Clarke’s latest Scotland squad.
“I think he has had one or two setbacks with injuries which is only natural for a kid of his age,” explained Goodwin. “But, I know I speak on behalf of everybody when I say we are absolutely delighted for Calvin. He can expect a WhatsApp from me at some point in the break as well as I’ll be looking for tickets in the new year to go down and watch him live.
Describing the player, who has already been capped at Scotland age-group level but will hope to claim his first cap against Turkey in next week’s friendly, as “quiet”, “professional” and “level-headed”, Goodwin added that another key attribute is an understanding of his self-worth.
“Calvin is very respectful of others but one thing he has got is real confidence and self belief,” Goodwin continued. “You need that at any level, especially as an elite sports level. He still has a lot to do in terms of his physical development. He needs to get stronger. To compete in the English Premier League you need to be athletic, really strong and quick.”
There are pundits and fans that believe the Merseyside club have unearthed their latest star. “Nobody can doubt his offensive attributes,” agreed Goodwin. “He needs to improve defensively. But he is at a club that has a great history of developing young players. I’m sure Calvin will get all of the attention required to get him to become a better player, a Liverpool regular and hopefully a Scottish regular.”