Liverpool are cruising at the top of the league. Manchester City are languishing in third place, potentially 17 points behind the mighty Reds. Blues fans have been trying to excuse their poor form by hiding behind injuries. What they are failing to consider is that Jürgen Klopp has also dealt with his fair share of injuries. James Milner is the latest set for a spell out; Curtis Jones can take advantage of the veteran’s absence.
Milner was named in the Liverpool XI to face Everton in the FA Cup third round. The Englishman lined up at left back, with Neco Williams filling in for Trent Alexander-Arnold on the opposite flank. Unfortunately, nine minutes in we saw Milner limp off with a muscle injury, thrusting the impressive Yasser Larouci into the maelstrom.
At the minute the Liverpool squad is in a period of rest and recovery. The December schedule was a punishing one, with Milner just the latest in a string of injuries suffered throughout the period. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on against Everton, his first minutes since donning a moon boot after the Club World Cup final.
Fabinho is still yet to make it back to full fitness, meaning that the Reds are stretched thin in central midfield. Fingers crossed the James Milner void will be filled by Curtis Jones.
We have seen that Jürgen Klopp is not afraid of trusting youngsters in big games – Alexander-Arnold burst onto the scene with an impressive performance at Old Trafford a couple of years ago.
It would be no surprise to see the gaffer trust Curtis Jones as a rotation option in January – we have some important fixtures on the horizon (Spurs and Man United) as well as some that may be more suited to the young Scouser (the FA Cup fourth round).
This James Milner injury could be a landmark in Curtis Jones’ career at Liverpool, fingers crossed he takes any chance presented to him as well as he did against The Ev.