Curtis Jones is belying his teenage years with mature performances for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp says the midfielder is no longer considered a Kop ‘kid’.
The 19-year-old scored a winner against Ajax in the Champions League and has played more of a role in the Premier League than many expected this season.
Injuries have pushed him into the picture, with the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and captain Jordan Henderson missing games.
Jones has seized his chance, and the Liverpool-born youngster has stepped in with a string of impressive displays.
“Some people will tell you Liverpool lets you grow up quickly. I don’t mean the club, I mean the city,” Klopp said.
“He is 19, until he enters the pitch. If you say he’s 19 and he’s allowed to make this mistake and this mistake – every player can make mistakes, that’s no problem, you have to solve that as a team – but when we speak about the kids we forget Curtis constantly because we don’t see him as a kid anymore.
“But he is. It’s just good. He just has to keep working hard, keep on the ground. It’s all great and the future could be pretty bright.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 18, 2020
Of all players to have been involved in 90 minutes or more so far in this season’s Premier League, Jones ranks eighth in passing accuracy (92.44 per cent).
Delving deeper into that analysis, the data shows Jones ranks first among those players for passing accuracy into the final third of the pitch (90.32 per cent), removing those who have attempted fewer than five such balls. Jones has played 52 passes into that area, the fifth most by a Liverpool player, with Jordan Henderson (128 passes with a 70.83 per cent accuracy rate) leading the way.
He has yet to score in the Premier League this season but has a 100 per cent accuracy rate, excluding blocks, for the nine shots he has attempted in 499 minutes on the pitch.
Whether he starts a sixth league game of the season remains to be seen, with the reigning champions and current leaders facing Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Klopp confirmed Joel Matip should be fit for that game, bolstering Liverpool’s defence after he missed the midweek win over Tottenham due to a knock.