In pictures: Porto v Liverpool
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Jurgen Klopp agreed with Michael Owen’s assessment that Curtis Jones was one of Liverpool’s biggest stars of the night in their 5-1 thrashing of Porto on Tuesday. But Klopp has admitted that Liverpool doctors told him of an issue Jones was suffering from which almost kept him out of the squad.
Jones has been tipped for a bright future at Anfield ever since breaking through into the first team.
He was expected to kick on further this season, particularly after Liverpool opted against signing a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum.
But Jones didn’t play a single minute in Liverpool’s opening four league matches, dropping out of the matchday squad against Norwich and Chelsea.
Harvey Elliott was the first-choice option for Klopp following his successful loan spell at Blackburn.
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Injury to the diminutive midfielder though has given Jones the opportunity to regain his place in Klopp’s starting line-up.
He impressed against Brentford at the weekend, scoring his first league goal since February.
But Jones’ shining moment came in the Champions League against Porto on Tuesday night with the 20-year-old involved in everything across the pitch.
The Englishman showcased his excellent footwork as Porto struggled to keep him at bay and Jones ended up playing a role in four of Liverpool’s goals.
Owen, speaking after the game, was hugely impressed with the midfielder’s display and wants to see him have a run in the Liverpool side.
And Klopp clearly feels the same way as he urged Jones to “keep it going”, although the Liverpool boss detailed why the playmaker almost didn’t feature at all.
“Curtis played a good game. He had some problems with his stomach before the game,” Klopp said.
“The doctor came into my room and told me that we have to keep an eye on him.
“But I told him after the game that whatever [the problem] is, keep it!
“He played a really good game, he was everywhere, involved in everything.
“He set up the first goal with a surprising finish which the goalie couldn’t save, was involved in a lot of other situations.
“Defensively he played a top-class game, defended really well, pressed on the blindside, a lot of things.
“I was impressed with his performance tonight so, let’s keep going Curtis! He was not bad tonight!”
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