Klopp hails ‘top-class’ Jones after Liverpool's rout of Porto
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Steven Gerrard has made a great start to management by qualifying for European football and winning the SPL at Glasgow Rangers in recent years. But having started his managerial career at Liverpool’s academy, quotes of him predicting the future of Curtis Jones have resurfaced after the midfielder’s recent purple patch.
Jones, 20, played a bigger role in last season’s side due to injuries and there has been a huge improvement seen in his talent.
Playing 34 games for Jurgen Klopp’s men last season, Jones has started this campaign in exactly the same way that he finished the last one.
And his form has led to articles of old cropping up about Jones when he was in the academy with Gerrard as his manager.
Having played 710 games for Liverpool, there is no one better placed than Gerrard to understand what it takes to make the grade at Anfield.
But he predicted Jones’ rise in 2017 – way before his first-team explosion.
“This team is built around him. He’s a top talent and he’s a top player,” Gerrard said when he was Liverpool’s academy manager.
“It’s important he gets on the ball as much as he can because he makes us play. He’s got that quality to create something out of nothing.
“But it’s important we don’t get carried away. Curtis is doing really well, he’s improving all the time. He’s a great kid, he wants to work, he wants to learn, he’s a top, top talent.”
The same will still apply now with Jones at the age of just 20, but after breaking into the first-team his chances of becoming a ‘top talent’ are greater than ever.
“It’s just important we keep giving him the right values and we keep working on the other side of his game,” Gerrard continued.
“We know he’s fantastic on the ball, we are trying to improve the whole package.”
Jurgen Klopp sounded his appreciation for the midfielder after a superb performance in Liverpool’s 5-1 win over Porto on Tuesday night.
The Reds have now taken maximum points from their two group games, and with Jones having had a say in both of those games, Klopp praised him despite not contributing as much offensively as he could.
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“He played a really good game, he was everywhere, he was involved in everything,” Klopp said.
“In a lot of other situations he was really there – maybe not as spectacular as the offensive stuff, but defensively he played a top-class game.
“He defended really well, pressed from the blind side, a lot of things I liked a lot about his performance tonight. So, let’s keep going, Curtis, it was not bad tonight.”
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