But Cain had already announced himself in the eyes of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool fans were able to take another look at Jake Cain tonight after the youngster was named on the bench for the Champions League group match against FC Midtjylland.
Jake Cain has had a fantastic year in Liverpool, and Sam Carroll has taken the inside track on his way under Jurgen Klopp
Eight names. Six of them would certainly have been known to the fans of the Reds. Maybe even seven, after Leighton Clarkson scored an impressive goal behind closed doors against the Blackburn Rovers before the resumption of the Premier League in Anfield.
“Curtis, Harvey, Ki-Jana, Sepp, Yasser, Leighton, Jake Cain: all these guys have done really well.
“So now the first glimpses of Neco Williams,” Klopp had said at the beginning of the summer.
Whoever would leave Anfield later in the summer for Wolves, and another on the list, Yasser Larouci, should follow this example before staying in Anfield.
Neco Williams, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott were all breakout stars of a title-winning season, while Ki-Jana Hoever and Sepp van den Berg attracted media attention after joining Ajax and PEC Zwolle respectively.
The versatile and intelligent left-footer can take on a number of midfield roles and has scored and assisted on goals throughout his time in Liverpool.
Last, but certainly not least, was Cain.
In short, he is a midfielder from Klopp. Bright on the ball, forward-thinking and positive, he enjoyed a dream year in Liverpool after joining the academy at the age of nine.
Debut in the senior national team? Does he regularly train with the first team? Another new contract signed this summer?
Winner of the FA Youth Cup? chess. First professional contract? Yes.
First cheque. First cheque. First cheque.
Cain recovered from the disappointment of not playing in December’s quarter-final against Aston Villa in the Youth Carabao Cup, only to play a key role two months later in the replay win in the fourth round of the FA Cup against Shrewsbury Town.
The 18-year-old played in midfield alongside Clarkson and Jones – with whom he progressed through the age groups at Kirkby – and has continued to train first team ever since.
He belongs to a core group of the academy, including Paul Glatzel, Clarkson and Van den Berg, who strive daily to attract the attention of Klopp and Pep Lijnders.
Regular observers have told ECHO that his running ability and powers of observation are worthy of note, and initial comparisons have been made with Jordan Henderson.
But Cain will not take note of this. At least not yet.
Those close to Kain admit that he has even exceeded their high expectations in the last 12 months, but insist that his quality has never been questioned.