Jurgen Klopp described Curtis Jones as a “joy to watch” after the midfielder put himself in contention to start against Arsenal on Saturday with two goals in Liverpool’s 5-1 thrashing of West Ham.

Jones scored his first from an acute angle then added his second following a slaloming run as Liverpool routed David Moyes’ side at Anfield to set up a Carabao Cup semi-final against Fulham.

The 22-year-old has struggled to hold down a place in Liverpool’s first-choice team this season, starting only one of their last 10 Premier League games, but Klopp hopes his player-of-the-match display on Wednesday night will help him fulfil his potential.

“It was a joy to watch him,” Klopp told Sky Sports after the game.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed Curtis Jones’ performance

“I’m really happy for him because the skill-set he has is immense but sometimes he forgets to speed the game up.

“Especially the second goal, it is exactly what Curtis can do. He has this speed, this tempo, and he doesn’t use it often enough.

“It’s what we tell him quite frequently but tonight he did it. Hopefully, that’s an eye-opener for him and a possibility for me as well.”

Jones’ first goal saw him feed Darwin Nunez then run onto the Uruguayan’s return pass before slotting a cool finish through the legs of West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola from near the byline.

Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal
Liverpool’s Curtis Jones celebrates scoring his side’s fifth goal

For his second, he picked up the ball near the halfway line and drove into the West Ham box, past a crowd of defenders, before slotting the ball into the far corner.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher called for Jones to be included in Liverpool’s starting line-up in Saturday’s crucial Premier League meeting with leaders Arsenal, live on Sky Sports, when naming him his player of the match on co-commentary.

“What a night for that young man,” said Carragher. “There’s no doubt for me, he’s played his way back into Liverpool’s best XI. He’ll be playing against Arsenal, I have no doubt about that. He has to.”

Curtis Jones ranked top for goals, shots, final third entries and only Jarrell Quansah had more touches in Liverpool's win over West Ham
Curtis Jones ranked top for goals, shots, final third entries and only Jarrell Quansah had more touches in Liverpool’s win over West Ham

In total against West Ham, Jones had seven attempts on goal, created two chances and made two successful dribbles, while only centre-back Jarell Quansah had more touches or made more passes.

There was more praise for him in the Sky Sports studio afterwards, with Jamie Redknapp comparing his running style to that of former Arsenal winger Robert Pires.

“He scored so many goals as a young player,” said the Sky Sports pundit. “The fans want to see their own player get an opportunity.

“He travels so well with the ball. He almost becomes quicker with it. Pires used to do it so well. Quick with the ball. Shuffles away from people, a lovely mover with it.”

Jones had not scored in his previous 15 appearances for Liverpool this season but will hope to keep his place when Liverpool return to Anfield on Saturday to face Mikel Arteta’s side.

Curtis Jones was a dominant force on the left side of the pitch vs West Ham
Curtis Jones was a dominant force on the left side of the pitch against West Ham

Harry Redknapp added: “He could walk into almost any team in the Premier League and play regularly.

“But he obviously wants to stay there, win his place at Liverpool and it looks to me it’s only a matter of time before he gets that regular berth in the team. He looks too good not to play.

“He played with so much energy, I’d be very surprised if he didn’t start at the weekend.”

Watch Liverpool vs Arsenal live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 5pm on Saturday; kick-off 5.30pm

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