At the press conference for Liverpool FC’s game in the Europa League against Toulouse, Curtis Jones opened up about some challenges he faced breaking into and trying to stay in the first-team setup at Anfield.
“As an academy kid I was always a kid who jumped up the age groups. Then I came into the first team and I kind of felt like I hit a wall, and I couldn’t really take the next step. So it was more just going over my game and seeing where the improvements were.
“I’ve always been a lad who just wanted to go and score goals and pick up the ball and run, you know. But it was at the point where then I learned, ‘OK, there’s more the gaffer and staff want.’
“Now the fans are all saying about how I go and press. I’ve never been a kid who thought about being the first one to go and press or to try to run the most, so I’ve added that in my game. I’m trying to work on just the overall package. I’ve still got a lot of things to learn, but I’m getting there.”
Indeed, Jürgen Klopp mentioned a long chat with the player way back in January 2022 about his progress. Here’s what the gaffer said:
“I had a long talk last week with Curtis, because I love the boy and I love the potential he has. But we have to now really make the next steps and make sure that he fulfils the potential he has on the pitch.”
“You have these kinds of conversations when you are not 100 percent happy with the moment. That’s where we are in Curtis’ development.”
He’s been a familiar face since his introduction in 2019, but this year, Curtis has taken giant strides. His counter-pressing and decisionmaking have improved by leaps and bounds, and he figures to be a mainstay in the Liverpool midfield for years to come.