Curtis Jones asks 16-year-old Kaide Gordon for advice – Liverpool FC
Since his debut at the age of 17, Curtis Jones’ development has been accelerated and his experiences now boil down to a certain Kaide Gordon.
The 20-year-old has 52 first-team games under his belt, quickly becoming a trusted member of Jurgen Klopp’s senior contingent.
A longtime talent academically, Jones has had to learn to play his natural game and balance the needs of the team and make the right decisions at the right time.
This has been a noticeable improvement as he has come of age, with his maturity in all facets of the game evident through his development on and off the pitch.
“I didn’t even know Norwich was going to be my 50th game, but when I look back on that MK Dons game I have come a long way in terms of my whole game,” Jones told the club’s YNWA magazine.
“I’m talking about dribbling. I don’t go crazy and run away with the ball and try to shoot and score now. I’m trying to help. Defense wise – second ball, heads and positioning… I’ve improved over the two years and as a person I also feel like a man now.
And his experiences lend themselves to the next in line in the academy, including Gordon, 16, who made his senior debut for Liverpool at Norwich in the League Cup.
Taking the youngster under his wing, Jones was able to provide a voice that was there and did just a few years ago and pass the message on to enjoy the experience as he had nothing to prove.
“I spoke to Kaide before the game and just said ‘everybody knows why you are here – you are a great player – so don’t think you have to go out there and beat the world or try to score a hat – trick, ”Jones added.
“I said, ‘If you score a hat-trick then that’s good! “But just play with a smile on your face and enjoy the game.” I told him to understand everything because your beginnings are a time of pride.
“I just didn’t want him to think he had a point to prove. It was more for him to go there and enjoy it and gain that experience. He did really well – all three did in fact – and he was better than me when I started out [at Wolves] In any event!
“Kaide is very good, but they are all good. That’s why they train with the first team.
The fact that Jones has taken it upon himself to give advice and offer his experiences is a testament to his character and the Reds’ next in line at the academy can only benefit from his journey.
And there’s no doubt that the game at Carrow Road was just the first time Jones, Gordon, Tyler Morton and Conor Bradley have come together at the senior level. The future is bright for Liverpool.