Curtis Jones takes on Leicester City

If you follow me on twitter, you will know that I am an unabashed fan of Curtis Jones. The young Scouse midfielder has fast feet, fantastic technical ability and the confidence to take to the field with one of the best teams in the world and just … be part of it.

Liverpool came in a tight spot in the game against Leicester City. Jordan Henderson was injured on international service with England and Thiago was still not fit enough to play. Additionally, Fabinho and James Milner were required to fill roles in the defensive unit, which meant Jurgen Klopp had a lack of midfielder to choose from.

While Curtis Jones may have gotten a starting role by default, he certainly didn’t look like a 19-year-old getting an emergency start against the top team at the table. The local boy gave a tactical master class.

Jones barely got a foot wrong throughout the game, which was impressive considering he has 86 touches throughout the game. That was the highest of all midfield players and the fourth highest on the team – the three players in front of him were defenders. He always moved to positions to receive the ball, whether he was controlling deeply as an option for defenders or making an attack to an attacking position.

While Jones had many bright moments, his ability to make the right decision at the right time was probably the most impressive aspect of his game. Jones always seemed positive with possession and movement when the option was there, but he never forced anything. With his head up on receiving the ball, he made quick decisions to split the defense or recycle possession. He finished the game with a success rate of almost 92% on 72 passes.

Young Curtis was just as impressive on defense. The highlight is his rewarding recovery action to come back and make a major strike on Jamie Vardy to take out a counterattack. He also did a lot of tactical defense in the second half, supporting the young Neco Willimas as the Welshman entered the game at right back.

With Liverpool playing twice a week until January 2 (12 games !!!), Curtis Jones should have a few more chances to impress. Thiago could be back this week, with Jordan Henderson possibly back in another week, but Naby Keita is injured again. Jones should be given the opportunity to prove he’s ready to make himself a regular in Klopp’s rotation, and anchor himself in the team’s plans for the future.

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