Jurgen Klopp: ‘I want a Liverpool team with a Scouse soul’

The dream is to have a team full of ‘Scousers’ – Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says his dream is to have a team “full of Scousers” – with all first-team players graduating from the club’s academy.

Midfielder Curtis Jones – born in Liverpool and a product of the club’s youth system – signed a five-year contract on Saturday.

Jones, 19, then scored his first Premier League goal on Sunday as the new champions beat Aston Villa 2-0.

“The dream is to have all the boys [from the academy],” Klopp said.

“The dream is to have a team full of ‘Scousers’. What we want to be is the sport for everybody with a Scouse soul.”

Klopp made clear he is looking for players with a certain outlook rather than judging them by birthplace – pointing to the three-year contract this week for England Under-17 winger Harvey Elliott, born in Surrey and a product of Fulham’s youth system.

“Of course, if you love football and are talented, we want you to be here,” the manager said.

Some of Liverpool’s most notable players have been locally produced, though; former England internationals Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher were both born on Merseyside and emerged from the club’s youth system.

More recently, Trent Alexander-Arnold has established himself as Liverpool’s first-choice right-back, also winning nine England caps.

Klopp said a number of other youth prospects are close to emulating the 21-year-old’s success and that it is a “good thing”.

“They are so humble and hard working,” Klopp added.

“The perfect scenario is that we have these role model professionals around. If the boys follow this path with their talent, they will have proper careers.”

Curtis Jones, Mason Greenwood & Bukayo Saka star for Liverpool, Man Utd & Arsenal

Klopp – whose side visit Brighton in the Premier League on Wednesday – also said Sadio Mane is a “big example” of the progress players can make after joining the club.

The Senegal forward – signed from Southampton for £34m in June 2016 – has now hit 20 club goals for the third successive season, having scored against Aston Villa on Sunday.

“I remember this unbelievably talented boy we took from Southampton; he was really outstanding skill-wise but a little lack of consistency which is probably why people thought ‘Really? So much money? You watch the wrong game,” Klopp said.

“The level he performs at is unbelievable. He came as a young boy and he grew up, matured here.”

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