There has been major speculation on whether Liverpool’s young midfielder, Curtis Jones, should stay at Anfield and fight for his place in the starting lineup or whether he should try and make a move away from Liverpool. The midfielder’s early-season momentum was stopped when he suffered an eye injury in November that kept him out for two months. Jones has since returned to action but has been slow to find the form he displayed in the opening stages of the campaign. The 20-year-old, who first broke into the first team two years ago, hasn’t truly moved to the next level yet.
Jones has benefitted from the long-term absence of Harvey Elliott, Naby Keita, and Thiago Alcantara at the start of the season. But the midfielder has not been able to replace any of them when Liverpool’s squad is at their strongest. With the midfield back to full strength, Jones’ position within the team is under pressure. Jones has been a part of Liverpool’s squad in the cup games and was seen in the starting lineup of a couple of Premier League games, but is not able to hold his position in the midfield. Fabinho and Thiago have been constant in the squad, with Klopp rotating the third midfielder.
The above visual shows us the attacking and creativity stats for Jones from this season. He has made 12 appearances so far in the season and has bagged one goal. Jones has only started seven of those games and has come on as a substitute in five games. Earlier in his academy days, Jones was more of a wide forward on the left and preferred playing inside the final third. This isn’t a position that exists for him under Jürgen Klopp. Instead, he is much more of a traditional central midfielder in his positioning. While this may have been a role Jones is familiar with, it is one that came with much more defensive responsibility than before. A reason for this is the presence of Robertson and Alexander-Arnold, full-backs who push up and create a lot of chances from wide areas. This is mostly due to the role he has been given at Liverpool, which prioritizes ball distribution rather than chance creation, as seen also with other midfielders. He has a very high dribbles success rate and has completed 84% of the dribbles he has attempted. Jones has had 60% of his shots on target and has completed 58.14% of his attacking actions.
Curtis Jones is a great passer and possesses the skills to become a great midfielder. He has a pass accuracy of 93.30% and has attempted approximately 55 passes on average. He has attempted 13.51 forward passes and tries to get the ball into the opposition’s half. When Liverpool are in positions, it is the job of their central midfielders to rotate the ball quickly and create space for their full-backs in the wider areas. Jones has provided three assists so far in all competitions.
Jones is also a threat when he can get into attacking positions and has a great right foot. He has the ability and technique to take shots on goal from long distances and has had most of these shots on target. As seen in the above visual, most of his shots have been from positions outside the penalty area.
There is a high-caliber player in Jones, but speculation still mounts over where his best position on the pitch is. With the recent arrival of Luis Díaz, his chances of being utilized on the left side of the front three again are slim to none. Jones needs to shine in midfield and demonstrate that he warrants a place alongside Fabinho and Thiago. He’s sparkled in patches, but the final stages of this season could be crucial in outlining his Anfield future.