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‘Stay with this kid, he will not let you down’: Steven Gerrard sheds light on the emergence of Curtis Jones

The 22-year-old Liverpool-born midfielder has become a key figure under Jürgen Klopp this season after a string of key performances for the English giants, with some calling for his eventual inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s England setup

The thought of making it at your boyhood club is one that motivates millions of young players around the world. But when you are born and bred in Liverpool, the dream of stepping on the Anfield pitch in front of the Kop is a dream that few others can ever hope to match in their lifetime.

For Curtis Jones, that dream has not only become a reality over the last five years, but the 22-year-old Liverpool native has not only emerged from the youth ranks and into the senior setup but looks set to star for the club in years to come after a true breakout 2022-23 season.

Jones is not new to Premier League football, however, after already making forty-five appearances for the Reds in the English top flight, with a cadre of other outings across both domestic cup competitions as well as the Champions League. And even though his 17 league appearances this season are less than the 24 that came during the 2020-21 campaign, there is something different about the player now.

With more confidence, polish, and three goals added to his CV under Jürgen Klopp, Jones has played a key role in helping Liverpool find the form that could witness the club on the cusp of resuscitating their season in a manner that could see them finish in the top four should Manchester United putter out after thirty-eight matchdays.

Club legend Steven Gerrard recently spoke with The Anfield Wrap to shed light on conversations he had with Klopp surrounding Jones; one that may well have helped the England youth international on his path to potential stardom.

When referencing his own career regarding the mentality you need to make it at a club like Liverpool, Gerrard backed Jones in that same light.

[When referencing himself regarding the mentality that Jones had to make it at the club] On a daily basis, I used to make it personal with my own teammates to make sure that I was the best. No one out-trained me, no one out-performed me on a daily basis, because then I could look at a manager in the eye and say ‘No no, I deserve to play in this team because I’ve shown you every single day or the majority of the days that I’ve been the best player.

That’s the mentality you need at Liverpool, otherwise, you don’t last long or you don’t play enough. I know he’s got that.

I remember having a conversation with Jürgen and we were talking about Curtis, and he was like ‘Yeah you know there’s a few little things that we need to improve in a few areas’ and all that. I said ‘Yeah I get that, and obviously you’ve seen him a lot more than me.’ Because he was spending more time at Melwood at the time. But I said to Jürgen ‘Stay with this kid. Whatever you’re thinking, keep him and stay with him, because he won’t let you down. Once you get him right, and you’ve fixed the few little things that you need to fix, he won’t let you down; he’ll be there for you.’

And I think he’s showing Jürgen that now.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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