Curtis Jones shone against Manchester City on Sunday and showed he can be the next Liverpool captain. The Reds have a leader on their hands.
There wasn’t exactly much to shout about after the 4-1 defeat at Anfield. Manchester City beat Liverpool handsomely in the end and finished off the Reds’ dying title hopes.
But there was one bright spark. Curtis Jones was fantastic and put in a performance that suggests he’s a future Liverpool captain.
In fact, he might be the next Liverpool captain.
It wasn’t just that Jones played well against City, nor that he did it in a big game, but it’s exactly what he was doing. The fact it was a big game against City just makes it more impressive.
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Jones played in a strange position, too. He was centre-midfield but part of a make-shift trio. That was especially dangerous as this was a game where controlling the midfield is all important.
But Jones was brilliant from front to back. He led the entire game in interceptions, for instance, with four (per Whoscored). The 20-year-old won two headers, too, with a 100 per cent success-rate.
That, again, led the game.
It all suggests a bite in midfield that Liverpool like, particularly from their captains. Their last two, after all, made a career out of asserting themselves.
But honestly, that was all just the icing on the cake.
The greatest part of Jones’s display was how he carried the ball. Not only was he brave enough to do it but he did it well.
He drove forward with the ball 10 times at Anfield (per FBref). This was more than everyone except Andy Robertson (11). What we like about Jones, though, was that he did it in the more congested middle of the pitch.
Jones somehow pulled that off without being dispossessed once.
That drive, bravery and ability is hard to find. It also suggests that Jones is a captain in the making. In fact, the last player to sound like this was Steven Gerrard.
Now, Jones will likely never hit Gerrard’s level as that’s an elite level virtually no one reaches. But if he in any way get close while maintaining this style, he’s as near a successor as we’ll ever see.
There’s a lot to love about Jones. He’s got the mentality and ability to lead Liverpool and when Jordan Henderson steps down over the next few years, Jones may well stand at the front of the line.