Curtis Jones is coming for the Liverpool places of two current first-team stars. The 19-year-old took a huge step forwards with his cameo against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Jones took the headlines at the weekend. Jurgen Klopp threw him on late in the game, with the score at 1-0, asking Jones to bring control to proceedings.
And he did just that. Jones involved himself immediately and wrapped the game up with Liverpool’s second goal. He started the breakaway with Jordan Henderson but the teenager continued his run into the box.
A knockdown from Mohamed Salah allowed Jones to bag his first Premier League goal. He delivered on Klopp’s request, then, as well as he possibly could.
And that should worry two Liverpool players in particular. Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both started the game against Villa but by the end of it, they must have felt under threat.
But a young player is making waves in their role who appears to have the mentality to go far. He’s also showing an increasing ability to influence games, despite his inexperience.
Jones has shown he can deliver for Liverpool from the bench and that may well earn him a start. If he can produce from the start in the Premier League, he may well move ahead of the more experienced duo.
Neither Oxlade-Chamberlain or Keita have hit the necessary heights this season. Both have had their moments but neither nailed down a role for a consistent period.
It’s easy to see why, too. Each player can claim one assist in their last ten games – but for both, it’s their only goal contribution in those games.
Jones has only made eight senior appearances this season but his figures are far better. Three goals and an assist in that time suggests he’s coming for their places.
And if he gets ahead of them anytime soon, they may struggle to ever move the teenager aside.