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New Thiago injury makes 'exceptional' Curtis Jones central to Reds' plans

Thiago has a new injury that rules him out of Liverpool’s friendlies this week. It’s a reminder of how important Curtis Jones will be this season.

Liverpool confirmed on Wednesday that Thiago has a new injury. A new injury for the club, anyway. The Spaniard apparently showed up with a problem three weeks ago, went on holiday, and it still hasn’t gone away.

Honestly, it doesn’t sound too serious. Jurgen Klopp insists it’s just a case of not taking any chances – but the problem does need to improve.

Thiago will miss both friendlies with Bologna on Thursday and we imagine he’s a slight doubt to face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. It’s not ideal.

Especially with just 10 days before the new Premier League season. Thiago won’t have anything like a full pre-season ahead of that one.

And with this injury comes a reminder of just how important Curtis Jones will be this season.

Thiago battles new injury

Injuries aren’t a new problem for Thiago and while this one doesn’t sound serious, Liverpool should expect them.

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Unfortunately, they also have to expect injuries for Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita. All three have also consistently had issues.

That leaves three midfielders: Fabinho, James Milner and Jones.

Fabinho plays a different role to everyone else, though, and can’t really cover anyone. Milner is now 35 and not capable of playing every week.

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That leaves Jones, who appears ready to step into the Gini Wijnaldum role. Not just as a similar player but as Liverpool’s go-to, reliable midfielder.

Wijnaldum was the only senior midfielder who didn’t suffer injury issues last season. His departure leaves Liverpool light in that regard and there is a risk of injury problems.

But in Jones, Liverpool have someone who has stayed consistently fit. He’s also a player who comes very close to doing the things Wijnaldum did.

Thiago’s injury is a reminder of the role Jones has to play next season. Liverpool need him to be reliable, consistent and above all, available.

He’s a player Jurgen Klopp believes has ‘exceptional potential’ and this is perhaps how he best shows it. If Jones proves he can be a player Liverpool rely on in all senses, this year could be the making of him.

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