Liverpool U23s manager Neil Critchley has lauded his skipper Curtis Jones following a glowing campaign for the young midfielder.
Jones, 18, netted a sensational six-minute hat-trick during the 6-0 victory against Sunderland on Monday to help ensure Liverpool’s progression into the last-16 of the Premier League Cup.
The Liverpool teenager was given the U23s captain’s armband by Critchley this term and has clocked up 26 appearances scoring 19 times this campaign, including two goals for the first team.
Jones has been an ever-present figure for Critchley’s young Reds this season and has only missed three Premier League 2 appearances this season as a consequence of being called up to the first-team.
Following the 6-0 win, Critchley delivered his assessment on Jones’unwavering progress and listed what the youngster has to do for more opportunities with the senior squad to materialise.
Speaking with Liverpool’s official website, he said: “He is [making big strides]. Curtis has been a consistent top performer for us this season and I suppose the test for him now and the test for us is to keep driving the standard for him and not to settle for what he’s got.
“I know he won’t be and he will be looking for more. He has had a taste of it and he wants more of that. Curtis knows he has to keep performing if he wants more chances at senior level but I’m sure that will come at some point.”
What RTK has to say
Curtis Jones has been one of the most exciting young players to come out the Reds academy since Trent Alexander-Arnold and Steven Gerrard.
The Liverpool-born playmaker has a swagger in his play and has the confidence and belief in himself required to make it at the top.
With the Premier League all-but wrapped up, Jones is likely to feature a lot more under Jurgen Klopp for the senior side this season.
Also, with Adam Lallana set for a summer Anfield exit and James Milner reaching the latter stages of his career, supporters will be desperate to see more of Jones to showcase the club’s desire in integrating young players into the first team programme.