Curtis Jones deserves a second chance in the Champions League when Liverpool face FC Midtjylland on Tuesday evening at Anfield.
Curtis Jones deserves another start in the Champions League when the Reds face FC Midtjylland on Tuesday. Liverpool will look for back-to-back wins to kick of the group stage but we believe they should hand a second chance to Jones.
The teenager started against Ajax, of course, but didn’t really get into the game. That hurt him, too, as Jurgen Klopp swapped him for Jordan Henderson at half-time.
Not that Jones should take it personally. Liverpool just didn’t have control over the game and needed Henderson. And Jones, as the least experienced player, took the hit.
But Midtjylland at home should be a far more routine game. One that should suit Jones, even, as Liverpool will want players picking up the ball in the opposition half and running with it.
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Jones’ ability in tight spaces, as well as his confidence on the ball, feel like a great fit for the game. And a top performance in the Champions League could do wonders for his growth. He’s yet to have a comfortable showing in Europe’s top competition, after all.
But starting Jones could also benefit Liverpool at a tough time.
Running on fumes
Liverpool are short in midfield. That’s almost bizarre, given it’s the position they have the most players, but that’s the situation. Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip are injured, meaning Fabinho is now in defence.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out long-term, while Naby Keita has missed the last few games. Thiago, too, is recovering from injury and Jordan Henderson is only just back.
Liverpool, then, could really do with Jones being a good option. If he steps up, the situation in midfield looks a lot more comfortable. But he needs a start to show that.
Fortunately, Liverpool could do with resting Henderson or Gini Wijnaldum after the weekend’s game. In that case, Jones surely deserves a second chance to show what he can do.