Jurgen Klopp was confident Curtis Jones is on the way to establishing himself as a first team player after he scored the match-winning goal against Everton.
The Toxteth-born midfielder made his fifth career outing for the Reds in the third round clash against Everton and commemorated it with his first senior goal which sent Liverpool into the next round.
With the clock ticking over the 70-minute mark, a replay was looking ever the more likely before Jones stepped up to the plate and dispatched a sumptuous curling effort into the top corner.
A strike and all-round performance which oozed confidence, and after the game Klopp was rightfully full of praise for the 18-year-old – who he feels has a bright future in the first team at Anfield.
“Unbelievable player. Scouser, very confident! He can’t wait to play in the first team, and he will be a Liverpool player if nothing strange happens, 100 percent,” he told reporters.
“I’m not surprised Curtis scored a goal like that. But he still has a lot to learn and improve.
“But he’s 18, unbelievable. In Germany he’d still play 100 percent in the youth team, here he is surrounded by the first team. I like our boys used everything to cause Everton problems.”
Jones was one of a handful of youth players who took to the field on Sunday, with Harvey Elliott, Pedro Chirivella, Yasser Larouci, Neco Williams and Rhian Brewster all featuring throughout.
And the boss could not hide his pride as they each proved key to the final result and, vitally, were again provided with another invaluable experience on the big stage.
“The goal was exceptional, the boy is an outstanding player but I can’t understand why people aren’t asking about Chirivella, Larouci and Williams. Must they score a goal to be talked about?
“It’s so important that the youngsters learned how we play. I saw that today. I told the boys they have to be proud of their performance, it was exceptional.”