Jordan Rossiter's appearance against Arsenal provided the perfect tonic for Michael Beale and his U21 squad as they boarded the team bus following their 2-1 loss at Reading.

Frustration quickly turned to elation as TV screens on board the coach showed the No.46 was about to enter the field in north London.

Rossiter replaced Lucas Leiva in the 76th minute to make his first appearance in the Barclays Premier League for the Reds.

For the 18-year-old Scouser, who was included in the squad for the summer tour of Bangkok, Brisbane, Adelaide and Kuala Lumpur, it was a case of all his hard work during the close season paying off after being sidelined for the last three months of 2014-15.

“We got back on the coach after our game and when we saw Jordan coming on, a big cheer went up,” Beale told

“A lot of the boys have played with Jordan for a number of years and grew up with him, and it was a special moment for all of us really when we saw him make his Premier League debut.

“It’s fantastic for everyone. Jordan had a really tough second half of last season when he picked up the injury because he might have broken through [to the first-team squad] then and there would have been opportunities for him, so it was really hard for him to take at the time.

“He had a fantastic pre-season, he worked very hard in the off season to make sure he was ready to start with the rest of the guys and the first-team staff have been really impressed with him.

“I know Gary McAllister, in particular, has been really happy with him and caught his eye, which is excellent because we all know how good a midfield player he was.”

Rossiter’s character and fearless attitude are part of what makes the midfielder stand out, Beale believes.

He added: “Jordan has a big effect on our group; he isn’t scared of first-team players and that environment and it’s sort of like he was born to be there.

“I know it’s early days because this is only his first [league appearance] but I think Jordan will kick on and become a real valued member of our first-team squad.

“His mentality ever since I’ve been working at the club is the one thing that stuck out for me as a huge asset of Jordan’s. He is doing himself proud at the moment.”

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