While Curtis Jones admits to having undergone big changes in recent seasons, the midfielder has suggested it's "just the beginning" of his Liverpool journey.
Despite injuries having somewhat limited his game time this season, Jones established himself as an important starter in the second half of the 2022/23 campaign in a struggling Liverpool side.
After making his way into the starting lineup against Chelsea last April, the Reds would go on an 11-game unbeaten run to climb the Premier League table, finishing in fifth and qualifying for the Europa League.
Jones' arrival in the Liverpool midfield made a significant difference, the 22-year-old exhibiting the kind of energy and intensity that had been lacking among some of the Reds' ageing midfielders.
While minutes have been harder to find for Jones this season as a result of his fitness issues and the three-match suspension he was handed following his red card at Tottenham, Liverpool have won six of the seven matches he has started this term.
Jones may still be a fairly young head in the dressing room, but he has undoubtedly matured in the past few years, something he admitted in an interview on the club's official website.
"There has been a huge change in the team and I’m one of the ones who has been here – it’s mad to say, I’m only 22 – but I’ve been here [since] 17," said Jones. "There’s lads who are coming in now and it’s their first time around the team, so I’m like an experienced one who has been around the whole of the thing for a long time.
"So, yeah, even though I’m young I do feel like I’m one of the experienced ones and know how the manager and staff like [us] to go and play.
"He’s spoken about it a lot the way I’m the first one to go and press and things like that. Now, I was a kid who came in and pressing and defending were never a thing for me! ‘No, I don’t need that part of the game.’
"Now that he’s picking up on it loads and he’s spoken about it, just goes to show how much that I’ve actually changed."
“I’m on 100 games but I feel it’s just the beginning and I want to just carry on and hold the form and keep it going.” 🗣️
The latest episode of the 'We are Liverpool' podcast, featuring Curtis Jones, is available from 7am GMT tomorrow 🎙️
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 20, 2023
Jones' willingness to knuckle down and put in the hard yards has quickly endeared him to Klopp, with their being an evident shift in his game as he blossoms into a more balanced box-to-box midfielder. However, he still has some improvements to make.
He added: "I feel I’m at a point now where he [Klopp] understands, ‘OK, we can bring him on if the team is getting beat because we know he can pop up with a goal or he can create something, or he can start in a big game because we know what we’ll get from him is going to be hard work, he will go and press, he won’t hide if the other team is on top, he will want the ball still, he’s not scared.’
"So, I feel like I’ve gained his trust. But I’ve still got a long way to go. I’m on 100 games but I feel it’s just the beginning and I want to just carry on and hold the form and keep it going."
Having headed into the November international break with a minor injury, Klopp will be hopeful of having Jones at his disposal for the trip to Manchester City on Saturday 25 November.