Jurgen Klopp jokes he wants Curtis Jones back-handed praise immortalised

Liverpool Academy graduate Curtis Jones has come on leaps and bounds this season - and his development has not gone unnoticed by manager Jurgen Klopp.

Having been predominantly a bit-part player since breaking into the first team in 2019, Jones is now finally starting to leave his imprint on Klopp's starting eleven, featuring regularly on the left side of a midfield three.

However, the 23-year-old demonstrated his versatility on Saturday afternoon, seamlessly slotting into the right-back position during the second half of the Reds' clash against Burnley. This came after the withdrawal of regular right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and the absence of normal back-up options Joe Gomez and Conor Bradley.

In light of this, Klopp, who had previously said "if Curtis Jones can learn defending, anyone can learn defending", is now doubling down on his praise for the Scouser.

Klopp told NBC Sports: "Now, definitely, on the wall in the academy, we will draw 'if Curtis Jones can learn defending, anyone can learn defending'."

Klopp, who has been vocal about Jones' growth, expressed his admiration for the 23-year-old's performance, hailing it as a testament to his development.

“He did incredibly well there,” the German added.

A remarkable journey

These remarks highlight Klopp's belief in Jones' capabilities and serve as a testament to his remarkable journey from the Academy to becoming a pivotal figure in Liverpool's midfield.

Liverpool's convincing display against Burnley, with Jones excelling in an unfamiliar position, debunked any doubts regarding his defensive capabilities. The Toxteth native's willingness to embrace new challenges epitomises Liverpool's ethos of resilience and adaptability under Klopp's leadership.

In fact, with Jones accumulating the 12th-most minutes of any player this season, his versatility has been crucial for Klopp's side amid injury setbacks.

While it wasn't Jones' debut in the right-back position (he played there against Leicester in the Carabao Cup), Klopp's decision to deploy Jones in defence against Burnley underscores his trust in the young talent and showcases Liverpool's adaptability in challenging situations.

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