For fourteen sweet minutes (plus stoppage time), Liverpool fans were treated to not one, but two local academy products on the field at the same time after Jurgen Klopp handed Curtis Jones his Premier League debut. Jones joined budding superstar Trent Alexander-Arnold on the pitch at Bournemouth when the game was well in hand.
”I spoke to the gaffer when I was getting warmed up and he was telling me to go on and be calm and go and play my game, which gave me all the confidence I needed,” said Jones. “I went out there and I just tried to play my game.”
While Liverpool were comfortably ahead, the 18 year old Jones and his magnificent mane did not look at all out of place, and even took aim at goal with an audacious volley.
Jones’ introduction was the culmination of a stellar couple of months, where he has been lighting it up for the U23 squad, and also provided an assist as a substitute in the bonkers League Cup game against Arsenal.
“Growing up and being a local lad, I think it’s everyone’s dream to go and play for your boyhood club,” said the delightfully Scouse midfielder. ”And to do it at a young age is a massive honour and I’m grateful, and I just say a massive thank you to the gaffer and his staff for having the belief in me.”
Jones made sure to point out the role of the LFC Academy staff in his progression, singling out Neil Critchley, Barry Lewtas, and Alex Inglethorpe.
“Critch and Barry – who have given me the role of being captain for the teams [U23s and U19s] – and Alex [Inglethorpe], who are always pushing me every time that I’m there. So a massive thank you to them and everyone around me, and thank you to the manager again.”