Jurgen Klopp has quietly discovered Liverpools breakout player – Liverpool Echo

No-one will ever accuse Curtis Jones of lacking ambition.

The teenager was just 13 games into his senior Liverpool career when he laid bare his ultimate aim back in the summer.

Speaking to the ECHO, Jones was unequivocal on the heights he eventually wanted to scale at Anfield.

“I want to become a legend in this city myself,” he said.

“I can’t wait until it is my turn to be in the team and I am winning games with the club.”

Though Jones’s words were striking, they never once veered towards arrogance.

Instead, they were delivered with the unmistakable self-belief that has helped make the 19-year-old a Liverpool player at a time when they are widely considered one of the best in world football.

The absence of key men may have dominated much of the agenda at Anfield this season, but Jones’s development has been a quietly intriguing subplot.

Featuring in 10 of the club’s 16 games so far in all competitions, Jones – from a purely personal perspective – has made the most of the misfortune that has fallen on the champions.

Injuries to the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson have all helped keep the door of opportunity open for the city-centre-born youngster.

Liverpool fans love to sing about the ‘Scouser in the team’ in Trent Alexander-Arnold, but they have another on their hands now it seems.

Two expertly takes goals in the 7-2 win over Lincoln in September was a great introduction to anyone previously unaware of his gifts, but it has been other aspects that have caught his manager’s eye this term.

The sight of him constantly tracking back to help out an injury-ravaged defence against the lethal Jamie Vardy last week will have been a heartening one for Klopp, a manager who places so much stock in a midfielder’s ability to graft.

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Jones excelled in the engine room as Liverpool beat high-flying Leicester 3-0 at Anfield last Sunday.

A player known for showmanship at youth level, he has started to adapt to to life in the senior ranks, often keeping it simple, allowing others the spotlight.

The spectacular is being substituted for the solid, with Jones happy to continue probing for gaps if unable to weave his magic every time.

With Klopp’s system often unwilling to indulge a creative No.10, the England Under-21 international is instead listening and learning on the job.

That is not to say his penchant for the special has been diluted, of course, as anyone who remembers his rabona cross in the FA Cup tie with Shrewsbury last season will attest to.

Generally, though, Jones looks a more mature player this season, revelling in the increased responsibility afforded to him by his manager.

At no point has Klopp looked to drastically alter his tactical approach because of a lack of midfielders. Instead, he has simply given the former Under-23 captain more trust.

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“Curtis played again like a 26, 27-year-old midfielder,” Klopp said this week, revealing a growing confidence in selecting the latest breakout star from a thriving Academy scene.

Gone are the fleeting flashes in cameo appearances with games already won.

Now Jones is being asked to influence important fixtures from the kick-off. Starts against Leicester, Atalanta and Ajax are proof enough of that.

And while his displays have not stolen the headlines, he hasn’t been asked to do so.

That will be exactly what he and Klopp will be aiming for as he settles further into the surroundings of the first-team squad.

“I’ve got goals I want to achieve, of course,” he said in July. “I could sit here and say that I want to win the Champions League, the World Cup, the Ballon d’Or…you name it.

“But I just want to repay the faith the manager and his staff have in me.”

So far, so good on that front. Now the task is simple – to continue doing just that.