Jurgen Klopp has explained his decision to start Curtis Jones in an unfamiliar right-back role during the club’s 3-1 win over Leicester City in the Carabao Cup.
Jones deputised at right-back as Liverpool progressed to the fourth round of the League Cup with a come-from-behind win at Anfield, with the 22-year-old also named as captain on the night in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The latter’s hamstring injury meant he was not fit to feature and Klopp has explained his decision to select Jones as the replacement for the Reds’ regular right-back.
“I sold the right-back idea with the captaincy, let me say it like that. But he was already completely excited when I told him he would be right back,” Klopp said at his post-match press conference.
“The way he executed it was super special I have to say wow. Super smart. We thought about him because we couldn’t play Stefan [Bajcetic] long, we have to be careful with him. Joey [Gomez], will be okay for the weekend but was not okay for today.
“For Trent, it’s too early so we need to find solutions. Curtis was always in my mind as a potential solution because he is football-smart. He enjoys being on the ball and the deeper you are, the more often you can get the ball.”
Speaking further on Jones’ impressive performance in the defensive role, Klopp said: “It was a top performance, I have to say, for the first time for him in a strange position, he did really well. I liked it a lot.
“He is in a good moment so he could probably play any position at the moment. We will try to use him as often as possible in his natural position.”