Klopp tells teenager that Liverpool debut ‘was not a present’

Jurgen Klopp has spoken fondly of Liverpool debutant Curtis Jones.

Klopp handed Jones his Premier League debut as a second-half substitute in the 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

The 18-year-old midfielder made his competitive debut in the FA Cup earlier this year, with two further appearances coming in the League Cup.

But the surprise right-back option was afforded a quarter of an hour on the south coast, with James Milner moving to left-back to replace Andy Robertson.

Klopp was eager to point out that the introduction of Jones was purely pragmatic.

“It was his third time in the squad, so then I thought it makes sense to bring him on,” he said.

“But it was not a present, I have to say. It’s his development. We want to show respect for that and we appreciate that.

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“Then you need a player and today we were without Adam and Gini here. We thought we need a midfielder because we want to rest Robbo a little bit, so move Millie there. That’s then a good choice.

“He did really well, he did really well. It was nice to watch and he enjoyed the game. Obviously it was not the most difficult game and it will not be the most difficult game in his career, but it was really nice seeing him.

“There are two or three more in the moment which we still have in the backhand. If we have to use them then we will then use them early. If not, then we give them a bit more time to develop and use them later.”

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