Jordan Henderson has praised the work-rate of Liverpool teammate Curtis Jones over recent weeks.
Jones has come to the fore of late, culminating in a two-goal display against Leicester City last night. And speaking to LFCTV after Liverpool’s 3-0 win, Henderson said he’d been so impressed with the 22-year-old on and off the ball.
“He’s been outstanding. Everything that he’s been doing with and without the ball,” raved the Reds captain. “With the ball he speaks for himself – rarely gives it away, great in tight spaces, really clever footballer, the goals he scored were outstanding.
“But also the work rate without the ball has been key over the last few weeks. He’s a great athlete. When he loses it, or when we lose it he wins it back really quickly for us and his counter-press has been brilliant.
“So yeah, he’s been a really big plus for us over the last few weeks for sure.”
Jones breathes life into Liverpool career
There’s an argument that Jones has actually been Liverpool’s best player during their current seven-game winning streak. Certainly, the Reds look a much better team with the Scouser in it.
His double last night brought Jones’ tally to three goals and an assist over his nine-match streak in the starting XI. Not bad at all.
It might become an over-egged point over the coming weeks too, but his re-emergence as a genuine option might yet save Liverpool some money in the transfer market.
As Henderson says, Jones has a heck of a lot going for him. Good on the ball and exceptional off it, Liverpool would have to pay a heck of a price to get a player of his ilk if they were buying him in.
Obviously, that doesn’t mean that the Reds don’t need new signings this summer. They quite clearly do. But in previous months of the season, Jones had barely registered as part of their midfield cohort. Far too often injured and hardly decisive when he wasn’t, there were even calls that the academy graduate could be sold.
Fast forward to the end of a weird season and Jones now looks like being a potentially key part of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield rebuild.
The manager has often said that the ‘ticket into the team’ at the moment is pressing and counter-pressing. As a result it’s no coincidence that Curtis is enjoying a run in the side. Henderson is right, he presses like a demon whenever he loses the ball.
If he carries that same hunger into pre-season, he’ll get plenty of chances, no matter the signings made.