Should Curtis Jones be in Liverpool’s XI to face FC Porto in the Champions League this week? Jurgen Klopp has to consider it after a fine performance vs Brentford.
Jurgen Klopp described Curtis Jones as a ‘top player’ after his performance against Brentford. In fact, he was full of praise for the young Scouser.
“Curtis is a top player,” said Klopp, per Liverpoolfc.com. “He is still a talent but a really, really good package and you felt that tonight.
“I thought he played a really good game.”
And there’s little doubt that he did. Jones may have played a negative role in Brentford’s opener but his overall game was impressive.
The 20-year-old won three out of three tackles, completed 88% of his passes and scored a brilliant third. It did take a deflection but Jones is one of the few Liverpool midfielders who takes a shot on like that.
Liverpool and Klopp will be pleased with him, then, and Jones certainly gave them a lot to think about ahead of Porto on Tuesday.
Should Curtis Jones face Porto?
The question now is whether Jones remains in the XI to face Porto. With Thiago out, there’s certainly a spot open in the team.
It would mean three games in a week, however, after Jones also started against Norwich City. We’d back him to pull that off ( he’s only 20, after all) but it is a big ask.
But he showed against Brentford that he can deliver the kind of display Liverpool need. Porto will feel it necessary to win that game in order to qualify, putting pressure on midfield and making a fight of it.
Jones, though, can win his tackles and possesses the ability to burst forward and play on the counter.
The big problem, however, is that Liverpool play Manchester City next Sunday. Can Klopp afford to play Jordan Henderson and Fabinho against Brentford, Porto and City? We’re not sure.
Relying on Jones to get the job done in Portugal is worth considering, then. Bring in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or maybe Naby Keita. Let Jones play the Henderson role and see if he’s up to the task.
He suggested against Brentford that he can handle that responsibility. Tuesday might be the time to test it.