Pep Lijnders reveals how Curtis Jones is 'creating culture' with treatment of academy stars

Curtis Jones is establishing the 'culture' he learned at Liverpool on the club's latest academy graduates, according to Pep Lijnders.

22-year-old Jones is one of the academy's biggest success stories in recent years.

With Liverpool since the age of nine, Jones made his first-team debut during the 2018/19 season and has since gone on to make over 100 appearances for his boyhood club – even wearing the captain's armband twice.

The midfielder, who starred as England won the Under-21 European Championship this summer, has grown into an important player under Jurgen Klopp and has often been trusted as the manager's preferred option on the left side of a midfield three.

READ MORE: Why Curtis Jones deserves an England call-up

Now back in contention for domestic games following the three-match ban he received after a red card against Tottenham, Jones is in line to start the Carabao Cup last 16 clash with Bournemouth on Wednesday night – a game that is likely to feature a handful of newer Liverpool academy stars.

Speaking in the pre-match press conference, assistant manager Lijnders revealed how Jones has become a mentor for the youngsters making their first steps with the senior side, having learned from several Reds legends himself.

"When Curtis Jones came in [to the first team], Milly, Adam Lallana, Gini were on top of him all the time, they were speaking every time he did something wrong or right,” Lijnders revealed.

“They cared, and now you see Calum [Scanlon] coming in or Luke [Chambers], and Curtis is speaking [to them] in the same way to how Milly was speaking. And then you create a culture.

“That was a dream and we knew it was possible but, in the end, we are here and all these guys I just mentioned, believe and want [to succeed].”

Full backs Scanlon (18) and Chambers (19) made their debuts for Liverpool in the 5-1 Europa League win over Toulouse.

The pair are part of an exciting crop of homegrown stars at the club, with Jarell Quansah (20), Ben Doak (17), James McConnell (19) and Bobby Clark (18) all pushing for a place in Klopp's plans this season.

Back in pre-season, the manager hailed Liverpool's current group of youngsters as 'special', while Lijnders insisted that creating open pathways from the academy to the first-team is a big part of the club's strategy.

Lijnders said: “We really want this [academy] pathway to be open, because we feel that only then you create a healthy club, a club who is sustainable and who has culture.

“One of the reasons why we all love working for this club is [because] it is much bigger than the first team. It is an institution, in my opinion.”

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