Klopp keen to see more local lads in Liverpool first team

Jurgen Klopp is eager to see more homegrown players go on to represent Liverpool and follow in the footsteps of the likes of local legends Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.

With West Derby’s Trent Alexander-Arnold having already established himself as the club’s first-choice right-back last season, Curtis Jones was the latest Liverpool-born product to impress during pre-season.

The 17-year-old, a versatile midfielder who signed his first professional contract in February, featured in domestic friendlies against Tranmere, Bury and Blackburn before being included in Klopp’s travelling squad to head to the United States.

Once across the Atlantic, he started International Champions Cup matches against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City before replacing Alberto Moreno for the final 25 minutes of a 4-1 drubbing of rivals Manchester United in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

It has been a swift rise to prominence for Jones, who trained with Liverpool’s first team last season and was an unused substitute for the goalless Merseyside derby draw with Everton at Goodison Park in April.

Klopp is evidently delighted with the impact made by local talents such as Alexander-Arnold and Jones and wants to see more Scousers make the grade.

‘I love it, I love it!’ he told Goal. ‘It’s important for this club.

‘If you have the chance, then you should do it. How many people live in Liverpool? 500,000? Iceland has 330,000, I think, so Liverpool should have enough people to create our own team!

‘But of course, the more the better. With Stevie and Carra, it was great to have those kind of boys come through, really cool.

‘We will see with Curtis, there is still a long way to go but the first signs are really positive. He’s a good player, he can be very good, we will see.

‘It’s always this little plus if they come from Liverpool. If I have two players, same quality, but one speaks proper English and the other one speaks Scouse, the Scouser is in! That’s why we are Liverpool.’

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