Jurgen Klopp saw something in Curtis Jones against Atalanta. The 19-year-old had a tough game in a disappointing defeat at Anfield.
No one played very well on Wednesday. Liverpool were flat throughout, failing to register a single shot on target at Anfield – an incredible stat.
But Jurgen Klopp at least saw something special from one player as the team slumped to defeat against Atalanta – Curtis Jones.
The Liverpool boss had a word about the 19-year-old after a mature performance.
“Curtis played again like a 26/27-year-old midfielder,” he said after the game, per Liverpoolfc.com.
Klopp was talking about how well his youngsters played, singling Jones out for something specific.
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That’s bigger praise than it initially sounds. In fact, it’s huge praise for a player who wasn’t even in the first-team squad this time a year ago.
So for Jones to play with the maturity of an experienced midfielder in his prime is quite astonishing. Very, very few players can do that – even those playing at an elite level.
Being effective in a game is different to playing with maturity. Some players, in fact, never gain that maturity and fail to evolve beyond their younger years.
But this is a wonderful sign that Jones will hold down a place for years to come. He’s already capable of getting through a tough game like this, three days after a full 90, and playing with maturity.
And he’s only going to get better, of course. The more he plays, the more he’ll learn and Jones has what it takes to develop into a great player.
It’s quite an incredible turnaround in under a year, then. Its not easy to look comfortable at the top level, let alone when you’re as inexperienced as Jones.
Hopefully, the young Scouser can make just as big a leap again over the next 12 months.