Ki-Jana Hoever: Who are the other 16-year-old debutants - and where are they now?

Ki-Jana Hoever
Ki-Jana Hoever impressed his manager Jurgen Klopp against Wolves in the FA Cup

For a lot of us, being 16 was rubbish. Seemingly endless exams, dealing with greasy hair and terrible skin, nagging parents telling us to "get out of bed", and the emotions... all the emotions.

But some teenagers have more to cope with than others.

After Ki-Jana Hoever became Liverpool's third youngest debutant during their FA Cup defeat by Wolves, we thought we'd look back at some other 16-year-olds who made their debuts in English football.

(It's really just an excuse to bring out some embarrassing pictures).

James Milner

James Milner

Milner made his professional debut for Leeds in November 2002 as an 84th-minute substitute against West Ham.

Milner became the youngest goal scorer in Premier League history, aged 16 years and 356 days, in December 2002.

We all know where he ended up - ironing on Twitter.

Other than that he has made more than 500 league appearances (scoring 50+ league goals along the way), won the Premier League title twice with Manchester City, and earned 61 England caps.

Jose Baxter

Jose Baxter

Baxter started his Everton career as a wee nipper, training in their youth teams aged six.

He had already spent 10 years at the club when he made his professional debut on the opening day of the 2008-09 season, coming on as a 78th-minute substitute against Blackburn Rovers.

In doing so, he became Everton's youngest-ever senior player, aged 16 years and 191 days.

A further 10 years on and Baxter has had a turbulent decade.

Having left his boyhood club in order to play more first-team football, he signed for Oldham and subsequently Sheffield United.

However, while at the Blades he was suspended by the Football Association for failing an out-of-competition drugs test and was later released.

He is now back on the books at League Two Oldham Athletic and has made 19 appearances for the club this season.

Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere

Also during the 2008/09 season - and also against Blackburn Rovers - Arsene Wenger handed Wilshere his professional debut.

At the age of 16 years and 256 days, he is Arsenal's youngest-ever league debutant and scored just 10 days later in a 6-0 victory against Sheffield United in the League Cup.

Despite an injury-prone career, Wilshere spent 10 years on the books at the Emirates, (peppered with a few seasons on loan at Bolton and Bournemouth), before signing for his boyhood club West Ham in 2018.

He made his debut for England against Hungary at the age of 18 years and 222 days in 2010, making him the 12th youngest debutant in England's history.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney

The all-time top scorer for Manchester United and England started off his career under David Moyes at Everton in 2002, aged 16 years and 297 days.

Rooney first stepped onto the field at Goodison Park against Tottenham Hotspur but it's his first Premier League goal that sticks in many minds, a stunning last-minute winner against Arsenal ending the north London side's 30-match unbeaten run.

Furthermore, that goal made Rooney the youngest scorer in Premier League history, a record that has since been surpassed twice - by Milner and James Vaughan.

A Champions League win and five Premier League titles later (among many other accolades), Rooney now plays for DC United in the MLS, where he has scored 12 goals in 21 appearances.

James Vaughan

James Vaughn

As mentioned, Vaughan, who made his debut as a second-half substitute, scoring against Crystal Palace in 2005, still holds the record as the youngest Premier League goalscorer in history.

Also an Everton academy graduate, Vaughan made 60 appearances for the senior side before a series of injuries blighted a promising few seasons.

Spells at Norwich City, Huddersfield Town, Birmingham City, Bury and Sunderland followed before signing for Wigan in January 2018.

Could he hold on long enough to become both the youngest and oldest player to score in the Premier League?

Just another ten years to go, James...

(At 40 years, eight months and 24 days, Teddy Sheringham currently holds that record).

Angel Gomes

Angel Gomes

A relatively new addition to Manchester United's senior squad is Angel Gomes, now 18.

Having made his first-team debut on 21 May, 2017 - replacing a certain Wayne Rooney in his final Manchester United appearance - Gomes became the youngest player to represent United since Duncan Edwards in 1953.

He also became the first player born in the 2000s to appear in the Premier League.

Francis Jeffers

Francis Jeffers

Yet another product of the Everton youth set-up, Jeffers made his debut as a half-time substitute in 1997 against Manchester United at the age of 16 years and 335 days.

Following three mixed seasons for The Toffees, Jeffers signed for Arsenal before loan spells at Everton, Charlton Athletic and Blackburn Rovers.

He also played for clubs in Australia, Scotland and Malta in a jet-setting career before returning to Accrington Stanley.

When his contract wasn't renewed in 2013, Jeffers joined the coaching staff at Everton's academy on a voluntary basis before joining officially in October 2016.

Matthew Briggs

Matthew Briggs

Briggs holds the title of the Premier League's youngest-ever player, making his debut aged 16 years and 68 days for Fulham in 2007.

Following his appearance against Middlesbrough, he recalled "going back to the school the day after, everyone was like 'oh my God' you've played in the Premier League".

However, Briggs couldn't hold onto his place in the top flight and following a series of loan spells, he left to join League Two Colchester United.

Briggs is now playing semi-professional football for non-league Maldon & Tiptree in Essex.