Jurgen Klopp reveals how he 'sold' playing right back to Curtis Jones

Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he 'sold' the idea of filling in at right back to Curtis Jones by sweetening the deal with the captain's armband.

22-year-old Jones was captain for the night as Liverpool came from behind to beat Leicester City 3-1 in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday night.

With Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and the rest of the Reds' senior leadership group absent, Klopp selected the homegrown Jones to skipper the team for only the second time in his career. Jones previously wore the armband in an FA Cup win over Shrewsbury back in 2020.

As well as taking on the role of captain, Jones was also handed a brand new position for the night, filling in as the right back, with Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Stefan Bajcetic all left out.

A natural midfielder, the former England Under-21 star was 'completely excited' about the new challenge according to Klopp – though the manager also suggested he used the armband to help entice Jones.

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Klopp said, via Liverpoolfc.com: "Yesterday, when I told him he would be playing right-back, the same moment. I sold the right-back idea with the captaincy, let me say it like that.

"But he was already completely excited when I told him that he will play right-back. The way he executed it was super-special, I have to say. Wow. Super-smart. We thought about him. We couldn't play Stefan long, we have to be careful with him. Joey will be OK for the weekend but was not OK for today. For Trent it is too early. So I needed to find solutions and Curtis was always in my mind as a potential solution there."

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Klopp also hailed Jones' footballing intelligence and suggested that he could use the academy graduate in every position – though he promised to return the young star to midfield in the future.

"He is really football smart, he enjoys being on the ball and the deeper you are the more often you can get the ball. It was a top performance, I have to say, for the first time in – for him – a strange position. He did really well and I liked that a lot.

"He is in a good moment, so he could probably play each position in the moment. But we will try to use him as often as possible in his natural position."

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