Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott has praised teammate Curtis Jones for his quality during training.
Jones has been excellent for the Reds recently, starting 10 Premier League games in a row for the first time in his career. And speaking to the Premier League YouTube channel about the 22-year-old, Elliott suggested Jones was equally impressive in training.
“Big baller, especially in 5-a-side as well,” said the 20-year-old. “In training you see him in close spaces, he’s probably one of the best ball handlers I’ve ever seen. For me, you need that player. He’s big as well, strong, technician in the midfield.
“We used to do it [work together] when we both played 23s and stuff like that, it’s just understanding what he’s going to do, where he’s going to try and cut in or go wide, what positions do you need to be positioning yourself in. Me and him have that good connection.
“His ability speaks for itself, players with ability it’s always easier to work off them and be in and around them. You know that if you’re in a position trying to make the run forward, more likely than not they’re going to find you with a pass. For me it was very easy to play with him and his talent speaks for itself.”
Jones starting to look at home
Jones and Elliott actually haven’t played together all that much for Liverpool. The former’s current good run in the side has seen the latter start just once over the same period.
That came during the 4-3 win over Tottenham Hotspur, where the pair helped the Reds into an early 3-0 lead.
Other than that though, Elliott has had to watch on as his older teammate made the left-handed midfield role his own.
That was in contrast to the early part of the season, where injury severely restricted Jones’ involvement. Meanwhile, Elliott was on a roll, starting game after game as Liverpool failed to fully impose themselves on the campaign.
It’s probably unfair – not to mention simplistic – to pin the Reds’ change in fortunes on swapping Elliott for Jones. But it must be said that the Scouser looks like a much more natural fit in the team.
As Elliott says, he’s big, bulky and strong but also incredibly technically gifted. That’s a brilliantly rare combination to have and Liverpool should foster his talent as much as they can.
Training and playing alongside players of the calibre that the Reds have is only going to improve him further. Take this run into the side next season and he’s a sure star in the making.