Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he has rejected loan offers, including from League One, for rising star Curtis Jones.
The 20-year-old, who made his first-team debut in the FA Cup in January 2019, has become key for the Reds. Indeed, he recently made his 50th outing for his boyhood club against Norwich in the Carabao Cup.
But while he starred in that game, he made a bigger statement in Tuesday’s win over Porto.
Jones notched two assists in the Champions League clash, but he played a part in all five of Liverpool’s goals.
Still, much of that form comes down to Klopp. The manager revealed to Sky Sports that he has kept Jones around instead of letting him go on loan.
“People have asked me a hundred times, ‘Can he go on loan? What about going there to get more match practice?’ No, let him be here,” Klopp said.
“That’s the good thing about being really committed to the club as a young boy. He will maybe not have 30, 40 games a season at 18 or 19 but he can still learn so much.
I didn’t want to let him go to play maybe 30 games in League One. I wanted him here so that he learns our football. And that’s what he did.”
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Jones’ Liverpool career so far has largely been built on taking his chance following injuries to others.
He did not feature in the matchday squad for two of the first four Premier League games this season, but injuries to Harvey Elliott and Thiago Alcantara have let him in.
Last season, meanwhile, he stepped up amid injuries and changes in position for Thiago, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.
Still, Jones has taken his chances well and Klopp insisted that the midfielder is learning all the time.
Curtis Jones learning at Liverpool
“He’s had highs already and there have been downs too but when you’re here, at home, who cares?” Klopp said.
“You learn from it and you get stronger. He’s stronger now for sure than he was last year, even though last season already he’d played a few really good games.
“He was on the teamsheet, then wasn’t, then wasn’t even in the squad but that’s normal.
“He’s not the player to think I’m not in the team, I won’t train hard. He wants it. He’s now in a really good moment and we have to make sure it lasts.”
Following his recent form, Jones is pushing to start Sunday’s huge Premier League clash against Manchester City.
Henderson and Fabinho are likely to start, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita have yet to show their best form this term. James Milner, meanwhile, will likely deputise at right-back for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.