Noel Whelan has heaped praise on Curtis Jones after the Liverpool midfielder capped off the week in which he signed a new contract with a goal against Villa.

The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed the 19-year-old must feel like he is living in a dream after a hugely important week in the teenager’s development.

It was confirmed on Saturday that the attacking midfielder had put pen to paper on a new long-term deal at the club he has played at since he was 8 years of age.

A day later he celebrated in style by scoring his first Premier League goal as a second half substitute in the 2-0 win against Aston Villa.

Whelan admits he has been excited by Jones ever since his Man of the Match performance against Everton in the FA Cup.

“What a fantastic week,” he told Football Insider. “We saw glimpses of what he can do in the cup when he scored that superb goal.

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“They have some great youngsters coming through at the moment and it goes to show that the academy are doing a fabulous job.

“That winning mentality runs right through the club, from the youth set-up all the way to the first team. They are breeding the right sort of players with the right character and that is invaluable.

“Signing his new contract would have been a big boost because he is at the club that he loves.

“A long-term contract gives him the security that he needs and then scoring his first Premier League goal – what a season for him. This must feel like a dream for him.”

In other Liverpool news, it can be REVEALED the Reds want to sign a £35million-rated defender.

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