Liverpool want Martin Odegaard, according to reports, but that does that mean for Curtis Jones? The Scouser is hearing a harsh lesson.
Curtis Jones has had back-to-back breakthrough seasons. Last year saw him earn a spot in the first-team squad, this year he kicked that on to become a viable first-XI option.
He did it while holding down a unique place in Liverpool’s squad during an injury crisis. The 20-year-old is an attack-minded centre-mid and the squad lacked that with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out.
Jones looked fantastic in the role, though, for someone with very little first-team football under his belt. It’s a role that he’ll almost certainly have a long-term eye on – this is how he fully establishes himself.
But now AS reports that Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool like Martin Odegaard and could move this summer. The Norwegian is an out-and-out attacking midfielder and that takes Jones’ speciality away somewhat.
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Jones would no longer be the go-to for an attacking midfield – Odegaard would be.
It’s a harsh lesson of life at the top.
You can never really be assured of a place at a club like Liverpool and Jones is getting that message. If the Reds see someone better, they’ll move for them.
You’ll constantly face challenges like this. Someone comes in for your place and if you can’t fight them off, you’re down the pecking order.
Fortunately, Jones can look around the squad for examples of things working out.
Joe Gomez is a great one. He’s battled back from some serious injuries to overcome the likes of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip for a first-choice spot.
Jordan Henderson, too, is a great example. He faced a replacement arrival virtually every summer since he arrived.
Yet he’s seen every single one of them off to become, arguably, the most important midfielder at the club.
That’s what Jones must aspire to. He’s barely in the first-team squad and we’re already talking about competition for his place.
If he wants a starring career at Liverpool, this is the kind of challenge he must consistently overcome. And quite honestly, we’ll back him to do just that.