Curtis Jones finds himself with a new opportunity after a teammate’s sudden departure. The Liverpool youngster may have his eye on a new role.
Takumi Minamino departed Liverpool on Monday. He joins Southampton on loan until the end of the season in a deal we didn’t see coming.
Not because Minamino was a key part of the side or anything – there just weren’t any suggestions he could go. And as Liverpool tackle an injury crisis, losing first-team options seemed risky.
Still, they clearly believe that both Liverpool and Minamino will benefit from the loan.
Someone else could benefit, too, though. We think this could hand an interesting opportunity to Curtis Jones.
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Jones has made his first-team breakthrough in midfield and we’ll always believe that’s his natural spot. He’s got the physicality for it and the way he can drive forward with the ball is a wonderful asset for Liverpool.
But Jones played a lot of games from the left-wing at youth level. In fact, his first games for the senior side came there, too.
Minamino’s departure leaves Liverpool a little lighter up top, though – certainly in terms of depth. This could be a chance for Jones to get more games in an advanced role, then.
He started the FA Cup defeat at Manchester United there, in fact, suggesting that Jurgen Klopp does see opportunities.
Minamino’s departure creates further ones. But it could also open up a spot at the attack’s focal point.
Minamino was the only semi-natural replacement for Roberto Firmino as a False 9, after all. He’d play there in cup games and, on very rare occasions, in the Premier League and Champions League.
Perhaps Jones could take over that backup role, though? Again, he’s got the physicality and ball control to play it in theory. He’s comfortable dropping deep into midfield, too, while he’s just as comfortable in the box.
He feels like a decent fit – Liverpool moulded Firmino for the role after moving him from deep and they could do the same with Jones.
So these are just two ways we could see Jones get more opportunities after Minamino’s departure. Hopefully, he takes advantage as the 20-year-old has the ability to threaten for Liverpool from all over the pitch.