No one will ever accuse Curtis Jones of lack of ambition.
The teenager was only 13 games in his senior Liverpool career when he laid bare his ultimate goal in the summer.
Speaking to ECHO, Jones was unambiguous about the heights he eventually wanted to climb at Anfield.
“I want to become a legend in this city myself,” he said.
“I can’t wait for my turn to play in the team and win games with the club.”
While Jones’s words were striking, they never turned in the direction of arrogance.
Instead, they gained the undeniable confidence that has helped the 19-year-old become a Liverpool player at a time when they are widely regarded as one of the best in world football.
The absence of key figures may have dominated much of the agenda at Anfield this season, but Jones’s development was a quietly intriguing subplot.
With 10 of the club’s 16 appearances in all competitions to date, Jones – from a purely personal perspective – has made the most of the accident that befell the champions.
Injuries to the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson have all helped keep the door open to opportunities for the city center-born youngster.
Liverpool fans love to sing about the ‘Scouser on the team’ in Trent Alexander-Arnold, but they have one more on their hands now, it seems.
Two skillfully scored goals in September’s 7-2 win over Lincoln was a great introduction to anyone previously unaware of his abilities, but it’s other aspects that have caught his manager’s attention this term.
The sight of him constantly running back to aid an injury-ridden defense against the deadly Jamie Vardy last week will have been encouraging to Klopp, a manager who places such importance on a midfielder’s ability to graft.
Jones excelled in the engine room when Liverpool defeated the high-flying Leicester 3-0 at Anfield last Sunday.
As a player known for his youth-level showmanship, he begins to adapt to life in the higher ranks, often keeping it simple and giving others the attention.
The spectacular is replaced by the solid, and Jones likes to keep looking for holes when he can’t weave his magic every time.
With Klopp’s system often unwilling to admit a creative number 10, the England under-21 international listens and learns on the job.
That’s not to say his fondness for the special has waned, as anyone who remembers his rabona cross in last season’s FA Cup game with Shrewsbury will attest.
Overall, though, Jones looks a more mature player this season and enjoys the greater responsibility his manager offers him.
At no point has Klopp attempted to drastically change his tactical approach due to a lack of midfielders. Instead, he has simply given the former Under-23 captain more confidence.
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“Curtis played as a 26, 27-year-old midfielder again,” 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 guest appearances with games already won.
Now Jones is asked to influence important games from kick-off. Starting against Leicester, Atalanta and Ajax are sufficient proof of that.
And while his displays haven’t stolen the headlines, he hasn’t been asked to.
That will be exactly what he and Klopp strive for as he settles further into the first-team environment.
“Of course I have goals that I want to achieve,” he said in July. “I could sit here and say I want to win the Champions League, the World Cup, the Ballon d’Or … you name it.
“But I just want to repay the trust the manager and his staff have in me.”
So far so good on that front. Now the task is simple – to keep doing just that.