Lee Carsley has spoken highly of the ability of Liverpool youngster Curtis Jones, but wants to see even more from him.
As quoted by The Daily Mail, the England Under-21 manager claimed that there is still much more to come from Jones.
“It’s important to me that Curtis doesn’t play within himself. He’s got to be the best player every day, every game,” said Carsley.
“I think he can score more, I think he can assist more. When he gets in front of goal, he’s got that quality. He needs to show it on a regular basis, consistently, for us. You’d like to have this conversation at the end of the camp where you’re swooning about him, saying “what a player”. I still think he’s building his reputation with the Under 21s in that respect.”
Carsley claimed that rather than a slight on Jones, the desire to see more stems from just how good he knows the 21-year-old can be. After working with him with England this week, the coach can see a real player in there.
“He’s got energy, he’s fast, he’s got real power, he’s got a real natural balance on the ball, he can take it either side. He’s got the ability to go either way, off either side, which is a real skill to have and an attribute of a top player. I expect more from him,” he said.
“The players that are almost your middle of the road ones – when they do well, you’re like “that was brilliant, well done”. But the really talented ones, when they do well you actually want them to do better, you push them more than the players that are striving to get there. I’m not saying Curtis is there yet but he has such ability, as have three or four of them, that he can really kick on.”
Carsley striking a familiar note
If you read Carsley’s quotes without knowing which Liverpool player he was talking about, there’s a good chance you’d be able to guess.
Jones has so much ability. It’s clear every time he plays for Liverpool. He loves the ball and is able to manipulate it in a way that few young players can.
But at the same time, you’re often left wanting more from him. Jones has had a decent season all things told, but he probably hasn’t kicked on quite as much as Jurgen Klopp might have expected.
Time for a loan?
Jones played 27 times all in all for Liverpool in 2021/22. It isn’t too far away from the 34 he posted the previous season, but most of his better moments came towards the start of the season.
There was the rocket against Brentford in September followed by the man of the match display in Porto three days later.
He even did enough to convince Klopp he deserved a start in the 2-2 draw against Manchester City at Anfield in October. Since then though, it’s difficult to think of too many contributions from the academy product.
With another midfielder potentially on the way in, it may be that it’s time for a loan move for Curtis. At this stage of his young career he could do with playing a little more regularly to properly figure out what type of player he’d like to be.
He’s got all the ability he needs to be a success. But if he isn’t able to get the rhythm needed to burst away from being a junior member of Liverpool’s squad, he may not realise his full potential.