At 20, Jones has already brought up a half-century of outings for his boyhood club, with Klopp’s assistant manager, Pepijn Lijnders, hailing him ahead of kickoff on Tuesday night.
“Curtis is not a young player anymore, Curtis is a full member of the first team,” Lijnders told reporters.
“That’s really important. With that comes different responsibilities.”
None of Lijnders, Klopp or Jones expected him to take up the responsibility he did at Carrow Road, however, with James Milner pencilled in to start as the No. 6.
But with the veteran suffering with a cold, Liverpool’s No. 17 shifted back from his more advanced role, filling in for Fabinho while Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain took up duties further forward.
Throughout the first 45 minutes, decided by Takumi Minamino‘s fourth-minute opener, Jones caught the eye with his confidence and quality on the ball.
Having already performed as a No. 8 and on the left flank this season, fans praised the young Scouser for his efforts as they took to social media both during and after the 3-0 win:
Curtis Jones there probably playing number 6 for the first time in his life and he was just untouchable. ?
So that's LM, 10, 8 and now 6 he's played for #LFC in his career already. Makes football look so easy, it's silly. Going to run our midfield for years, this kid.
— GerrardKennyKloppo (@SGKennyKloppo) September 21, 2021
I often got slated when I said I'd be happy for Curtis Jones to take Gini's place in the squad. And yet here he is, playing effortlessly as the number 6 despite him being far more attack-minded. Excellent work from the player and the coaching staff for him becoming so versatile
— Lewis Jones (@LewisJones_90) September 21, 2021
Takumi Minamino with a decent half. Scores the goal, and was making some good runs even if he wasn’t always found by his teammates. Curtis Jones looking really comfortable as a number six. Kaide Gordon getting stuck in and looking good on the ball. Plenty to enjoy from #LFC.
— Matt Addison (@MattAddison97) September 21, 2021
Curtis Jones: He wants to be with you, everywhere. pic.twitter.com/3sCff6EM7h
— Andrew Beasley ? (@BassTunedToRed) September 21, 2021
Curtis Jones just cruising in the 6 ?? nice to see
— Dylan (@LFCDylz) September 21, 2021
Curtis Jones doing himself no harm with that 45.
— Ian Ryan (@Ian1892T) September 21, 2021
Curtis Jones best half in a red shirt that. Gomez and Kelleher very good.
— Rowly (@TheFarFarLeft) September 21, 2021
That Curtis Jones performance was so immensely mature.
Some player he’s becoming.
— ?????? (@KIopptinho) September 21, 2021
The consensus was that Jones had impressed as the deep-lying midfielder, before pushing slightly forward as Tyler Morton replaced Keita at the break and Minamino swapped with Oxlade-Chamberlain.
However, in his post-match interview with LFCTV, Klopp highlighted the last-minute call for Jones to fill in for the ailing Milner as a mistake.
“It’s just not a natural position for him, but we only got the information that Milly would not be ready this morning, so there was no time to train really,” he said.
“We scored the goal, started well in the game, but then obviously the organisation did not work that well anymore.
“But second half, then. Naby had to go off, [we] brought Tyler [on], [it was] more natural for him in that position – you could see that immediately.
“We could control the situations better, we passed simpler and quicker, scored the second goal then controlled the game completely.”
Speaking to Sky Sports, Klopp added that Morton “gave us the opportunity to connect again, because he just played simple, passed the ball in the right spaces, defended in the right spaces.”
The suggestion, then, is that Jones is too adventurous, or risky, a midfielder to fulfil the No. 6 role without more training – which, given the emergence of Morton, seems unlikely.
Klopp disagreeing with supporters on the 20-year-old’s performance in the position is interesting, as it shows the workings behind a top-level manager, who sees beyond that which the spectator sees.
This is no negative, of course, with Jones able to ply his trade as a more progressive midfielder, and hopefully more regular opportunities come after his 50th game.