Jurgen Klopp had some specific praise for Curtis Jones last week and it came to life in his goal vs Ajax. The Scouser made his boss look prophetic.
Liverpool were very disappointing against Atalanta last week. They were flat, lacked creativity, and the Italians deserved their win.
Jurgen Klopp did find some praise, though, and it looks prophetic after Curtis Jones scored the winning goal against Ajax.
“Curtis played again like a 26/27-year-old midfielder,” he said after the Atalanta defeat, per Liverpoolfc.com.
It’s very specific praise, suggesting that a teenager knows the subtle ins and outs that usually only an experienced pro would. Where to cover, what movements to make, when to pass, when to dribble – all things teenagers need time to learn.
Jones, however, seems to have it down and his goal against Ajax summed it all up wonderfully.
Jones drifted around the back of Ajax’s defence as Neco Williams crossed the ball. Andre Onana then came out to deal with it and everyone stopped – except Jones.
The Scouser kept going, taking a chance on Onana deciding to leave it as goalkeepers tend to when everyone stops.
Onana did exactly that, of course, allowing Jones to toe it into an open net just before it went out for a goalkick.
That is the goal of a 34-year-old seasoned goal-poacher, not a 19-year-old midfielder in his first full season. Jones seeing the possibility and executing it is supposed to come with experience, not natural instinct.
It was exactly what Klopp was talking about. Jones isn’t just a talented player with the ball at his feet, he’s mature far beyond his years as a player.
That bodes incredibly well. It suggests he’ll keep developing well and rapidly, too – he’s already got so many of the basics down, after all.
Absolutely everyone at Liverpool should be excited about Jones. The teenager is going to go far.