Jurgen Klopp on Curtis Jones’ future and bringing through Scousers at Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp is eager to nurture a new Scouse core at Liverpool, with Curtis Jones potentially the next to join Trent Alexander-Arnold in the first team.

Jones has taken a big step this pre-season, featuring in every friendly so far and impressing in each of his seven outings, including in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Man United.

The 17-year-old operated at right-back in Ann Arbor, and has filled variety of roles for Klopp, including out wide and in the midfield.

His versatility, confidence and burgeoning quality make him one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Liverpool’s academy in recent years, and this is compounded by his roots.

Born in the city, Jones could follow in Alexander-Arnold’s footsteps in establishing himself as one of a new crop of Scousers in the first team at Anfield.

Speaking to Goal‘s Neil Jones, Klopp stressed how this is an important development, and though he insisted the teenager has much to improve he is a great hope for the future.

Curtis Jones of Liverpool during the pre season match at Prenton Park, Birkenhead. Picture date 10th July 2018. Picture credit should read: Matt McNulty/Sportimage via PA Images

“I love it, I love it! It’s important for this club. If you have the chance, then you should do it,” he said of promoted local players, adding:

“How many people live in Liverpool? 500,000? Iceland has 330,000, I think, so Liverpool should have enough people to create our own team!

“But of course, the more the better. With Stevie and Carra, it was great to have those kind of boys come through, really cool.

“We will see with Curtis, there is still a long way to go but the first signs are really positive.

“He’s a good player, he can be very good, we will see.

“It’s always this little plus if they come from Liverpool.

“If I have two players, same quality, but one speaks proper English and the other one speaks Scouse, the Scouser is in! That’s why we are Liverpool.”

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2017: Liverpool's Adam Lewis during an Under-18 FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at the Kirkby Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s stance is aided by a plethora of excellent Scouse youngsters shining at academy level for the Reds, with Alexander-Arnold and Jones merely the frontrunners.

Adam Lewis—a left-back with exceptional delivery, who is also capable of serving as a tenacious central midfielder—captained the U18s last season, and was part of England’s U19 Euro squad.

The 18-year-old is likely to move up to the U23s this season, joining another local lad, Abdi Sharif, who has been training with Neil Critchley‘s squad this summer.

Sharif is a natural midfielder, but can also play at right-back and further forward in attack, and this versatility should be a key feature in his game at just 17.

After a season hampered by injury, Liam Coyle will also be aiming to establish himself at U23 level, motivated by a childhood spent living just a 10-minute walk away from Melwood.

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 6, 2018: Liverpool's Paul Glatzel during an Under-18 FA Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Brockhall Village Training Ground. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Elsewhere, centre-back Tom Clayton hails from Rainford, fellow defender Rhys Williams was born in nearby Preston, midfielder Alex Turner is from Ormskirk and though his parents are German, forward Paul Glatzel is a Liverpudlian.

With Klopp eager to build his side around Merseyside’s prodigious youth in the future, he can rely on a strong bank of talents already in the academy.

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