Curtis Jones put in a very quiet performance for Liverpool as they lost 2-0 at Chelsea. The reason for his problems might become a major positive, however.
Jones didn’t do much against Chelsea, unfortunately. The game largely passed him by in the first half and while he improved in the second, he couldn’t produce.
This was a worse performance than against Everton, for instance, despite the fact he played in a much better side on Tuesday.
Maybe that suggests something about Jones, though. He looks like the type of player who suits being the main man – as shown by his performances as captain of the Under 23s. Or in his other FA Cup showings this season where he was a far more prominent part of the team.
You’d think, then, that Jones might take a while to settle into first-team football. He won’t be the star, after all, given the talent in Liverpool’s first-team.
But the flip-side of that is Jones also being a player you can build a team around – if he shows the talent, too.
Not all talented players have the mentality to be the star of the side. Some simply prefer to play a supporting role in the team – think Roberto Firmino to Mohamed Salah.
But you do need those stars who are willing and capable of running games and being the main threat.
Players with that top-tier mentality and talent to back it up are hard to find but Liverpool seem to have one in Jones. He looks like he actually prefers to have things run through him, for him to be the one you rely on. We’ve written before about his leadership skills but it does look like more than that.
And if he does have the talent everyone suggests he does, then that’s a wonderful thing. It would mean Jones can be not just a first-team player but, potentially, a first-team star.
Liverpool may have a player they can rely on for a long time to come, then. While Jones didn’t show that as Liverpool lost to Chelsea, we did seem to learn a bit more about him.