Curtis Jones will have a bright future at Liverpool as long as “nothing strange happens”, says Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.
The 18-year-old midfielder is making headlines once again after his match-winning performance in an FA Cup third-round derby date with Everton.
A young Liverpool side secured the notable scalp of their Merseyside rivals on Sunday courtesy of a stunning long-range effort from Jones.
He was one of several academy graduates to catch the eye at Anfield, and admitted afterwards that he has been waiting patiently for an opportunity to make his mark.
It has been suggested that a loan move will be sanctioned in January in an effort to find the youngster the regular game time he both craves and needs.
His long-term future should lie with Liverpool, though, with Klopp admitting that Jones’ progress is already exceeding expectations.
The German tactician told reporters when asked about the teenager’s potential: “It was an absolutely sensational goal, I love it.
“Everybody asks me about Curtis Jones, but there were so many good individual performances
“Let me speak about Curtis. Unbelievable player, Scouser, very confident, can't wait to play in the first team. Rightly so. He is in a very good way, I've known him for three-and-a-half years.
“He was made big steps, he will be a Liverpool player if nothing strange happens 100%.
“I'm not surprised he scored that kind of goal. He has still things to learn and improve, but you sometimes forget, and we forget it in training, that he is only 18. Unbelievable.
“In Germany, because of a different system, he would play 100% another year in the youth team and nowhere else. Here, he is around the first team.”
Jones was handed his Premier League debut by Liverpool back on December 7, in a meeting with Bournemouth.
He had already figured prominently in the Reds’ Carabao Cup campaign prior to that, with positive progress made to the quarter-final stage.
Those efforts earned him a place in Klopp’s squad for the FIFA Club World Cup, with there plenty to suggest that the youngster will be chasing down more major honours in the years to come.