20-year-old could still have big part to play for Liverpool, he shouldn't be underestimated - opinion
Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

20-year-old could still have big part to play for Liverpool, he shouldn't be underestimated - opinion

A welcome return

Curtis Jones returned to Liverpool first team training on Wednesday. This provided a welcome boost for Jurgen Klopp who said that the timing of the midfielder’s re-appearance.

“Curtis had a partial session with the team. Timing-wise, it couldn’t be better,” he said.

Jones had been out since early November with an eye injury picked up after a collision in training.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

He had hinted at an earlier return on social media. But a setback meant he still hasn’t featured since the 2-2 draw with Brighton on October 30th

Since that time Liverpool have been in blistering form, winning eight out of nine in all competitions. Klopp has finally found a settled midfield with Thiago, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho clearly the managers preferred trio.

Relishing the challenge

Jones has a big task on his hands to climb back up the pecking order. The 20-year-old isn’t short of confidence though and he’ll be relishing yet another challenge.

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Not enough is made of the way he has cemented his place in one of the best squad’s in world football. The academy graduate now has over 50 appearances and counting for a Liverpool team that will go down in history.

Perhaps the highest compliment is that Klopp trusts him in the biggest games. Jones started the crucial match against Man City in September and the manager turned to him following James Milner’s first half injury in the win at Old Trafford.

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

An untimely injury

These games came during arguably the best form of Curtis’ Liverpool career. He deserved to start against City after dominating the previous match away to Porto.

Two assists didn’t tell the full story as he had a hand in four of Liverpool’s five goals in Portugal and ran the game from midfield. Prior to that he had hit a long range thunderbolt into the top corner at Brentford.

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

The signs were that he was thriving with the extra responsibility and game time whilst more senior players were missing.

Picking up an injury during this run in the side will have frustrated Jones. He knows that Klopp rewards good performances with more starts.

But given what he has achieved during his short career so far, expect him to give everyhting he has to winning his place back in the manager’s best 11.

Underestimate him at your peril.

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