Harvey Elliott is enjoying a brilliant season from the bench, but he is yet to nail down a starting position in the Liverpool side.
With Salah at Africa Cup of Nations and Doak likely out until the end of the season, there is a hole on Liverpool’s right-hand side that Jones believes Elliott can take advantage of.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, Jones said: “In his mind now, the more starts he gets, the better he will play. Mo [Salah] has gone as well [to the Africa Cup of Nations], so the right-hand side has opened up even more for him.
“Now he’s able to play as a half-space No.8 or off the right, he can play on the left, he can play as a No.10, he’s a gifted lad and he’s shown that definitely.”
The Scouser alluded to Elliott’s versatility, which can often be a curse as well as a blessing for players – just ask James Milner, though he didn’t do too badly in the end.
Elliott has appeared on the right wing six times this season, because the majority of his games are played in midfield, where he has featured 20 times.
We saw Klopp opt to start Elliott on the right against Arsenal, but things weren’t working out as a team so the manager moved him deeper.
This meant Luis Diaz went to the right and Liverpool’s fortunes turned for the better. However, it wasn’t necessarily the 20-year-old’s fault that he was insignificant before the break, as the whole Liverpool team struggled under pressure.
Sat next to Jones, Elliott responded by offering praise for his teammate. “I think he’s brought a whole new dynamic to the team,” said the No. 19.
“To go into the team is one thing, but to establish yourself and cement your place is another and week in, week out he’s performed to the best of his ability. He’s cemented his spot and shown not only us, who know his talent, but the world as well.”
It is clear that Jones, who is just 22 months older than Elliott, is further along in his development. He has become key to the team’s counter-pressing and structure.
Youngsters develop at different rates but progress becomes more achievable with “world-class players,” as Elliott said. It can’t be bad to have Klopp coaching you, either.