Liverpool have handed defender Lloyd Jones a three-year professional contract after the Welsh youth international impressed for the under 21 side.

At just 17 years of age, Jones has already been included in Brendan Rodgers' plans this season, taking to the bench against Fulham last Sunday.

And the teen will also feature against Manchester United in the Under 21 semi-final on Tuesday night, giving him a chance to showcase his skills for the manager once more.

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers has signed Lloyd Jones on a three year senior deal with Liverpool.

Rodgers has been well known in his time at Liverpool for giving young stars the chance to step up to the senior side, and with the club in need of defenders, particularly now that Jamie Carragher is retiring, it could be that they are ready to hand the youngster more of a chance next season.

The Reds paid around £20,000 to take Jones from Plymouth in 2010, and the club will have been keen to wrap up the youngster on a senior deal as they look towards long-term success.

Rodgers has spent a big part of his first season in charge of the Merseyside club getting to know the younger players, and the Liverpool boss says he's learnt a lot since taking over from Kenny Dalglish last summer.

"This year has provided a great learning curve for me and I look back and see that it was learning that I needed," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"I knew the expectancy of the club but going into next season, I am a much better prepared manager for that.

"We want to make significant improvements next year in the points total because the reality is we are 30 points behind the leaders and 11 points behind the top four.

"But I've seen enough and if we improve our mentality in the summer - by signing players who have that consistent winning mentality - we can then improve again, like we have done in the second half of the season."

Liverpool had a tough start to the season, but have finished off on a high, looking set to end their campaign in seventh place and with plans for a busy summer.