Jurgen Klopp insists ‘the door is open’ into the first team for Liverpool’s teenage star Curtis Jones following his sensational display in Carabao Cup win over Lincoln
- Jurgen Klopp says Curtis Jones can have a role in his first-team plans
- That is despite Liverpool signing both Thiago and Diogo Jota this summer
- Jones starred in Liverpool’s midweek 7-2 Carabao Cup win over Lincoln
Jurgen Klopp insists that the door is open for teenage favourite Curtis Jones despite Liverpool’s recent transfer activity.
The 19-year-old, who became the club’s youngest ever first team captain for one game last season, starred with a two-goal performance in the midweek Carabao Cup victory at Lincoln.
That display provided a timely reminder of why Jones is well on his way to cult status among Liverpool supporters and tipped to follow Trent Alexander-Arnold in becoming the next local product to become a first team regular.
Jurgen Klopp insists that the door is open for Liverpool’s teenage favourite Curtis Jones
Klopp watched on as Jones stood out in the midweek Carabao Cup win over Lincoln City
And, in spite of the high profile arrivals of Thiago and Diogo Jota over the past 10 days, Klopp insists Jones remains central to his squad plans – even if there is still a need for improvement.
Klopp said: ‘Now the door is open. I don’t want to make his performance smaller than it was because it was absolutely exceptional: the way he scores, the way he contributes to the game, that’s all really exceptional.
‘But Curtis knows himself there is a lot of space for improvement. Being involved in a game over 90 minutes – and I mean really being involved – so there is space for improvement.
‘But he is a hard working boy and he loves all the feedbacks, all the analysis we do.
‘The plan is to use him as often as possible because of the way he performs, and that is it.’
Klopp appears likely to allow 20-year-old striker Rhian Brewster to leave the club, at least on loan, before the window closes this week, a step which would further promote Jones in the Anfield pecking order.
And Jones’s performance against Lincoln, demonstrated the attacking midfielder is ready to rub shoulders with his fellow Anfield stars after adapting to a scenario in which he is no longer the stand-alone talent, as had been the case at age group football.
Klopp said: ‘Self confidence for a football player is really important because usually you play in front of 30, 40 50, 60, 70,000 people and without confidence that is not possible, I can tell you.
Jones scored twice in an eye-catching display and could be on the bench against Arsenal
‘Doing the right thing in the right moment helps as well That is what he had to learn over the last two years because he was maybe the top player of each age group he was in and he had to learn to play together with other players.
‘He made massive steps in that department and had brilliant role models in the squad.’
Jones is expected to be on the bench against Arsenal on Monday for a game between two teams who have each started the new campaign with two victories.
And although many pundits expect Manchester City to provide Liverpool their greatest challenge to a successful title defence, Klopp insists Arsenal are among a group of teams who can expect to be in contention.
He said: ‘The Premier League and these teams with what they do is too much and too good that the season isn’t decided before it is started so it doesn’t just work like this.
‘Nobody is safe of these kinds of things and so we have to work incredibly hard to sort it out, but the other teams do we have no influence.
‘When we face them we want to beat them, that’s all we can do, but, yes often it is an open race. Chelsea will be there 100 per cent, United will be there, Arsenal and Tottenham will always be there.
‘And there will be tough moments for us from other teams as well and it is about how you react. Can you react the right way?
‘The season is not a sprint, it is a marathon, obviously, and you have to go through a lot of difficult moments.
‘I have no idea who will win the league but I know a lot of teams will try and we are one of them.’