Few could have foreseen Curtis Jones’ sudden and rather dramatic rise in the final stage of the 2022/23 campaign.
Few other than Liverpool’s coaching team (of which Jurgen Klopp is a huge admirer) and Steven Gerrard, with the former claiming that the 22-year-old is more talented than he was as a player.
“Curtis is more talented than me in terms of technical, in terms of dribbling ability, in terms of manipulating the ball, close control,” the ex-skipper spoke exclusively with The Anfield Wrap.
“He’s a different type of player to me, in that I was more of a runner, a passer. Curtis is more of an individual — a soloist, if you like.
“Obviously being a local boy, he understood what Liverpool Football Club is about. He understood what the fans wanted and what you needed to play for Liverpool.
“You have to be up for it, you have to be all in, you have to max out every game. That’s where the similarities were. I could see the local rawness in him, the council estate type of mentality.”
That’s quite the compliment to offer a player who, prior to his recent efforts, has spent much of his Anfield career on the sidelines, rarely getting the opportunity to showcase his talents and potential.
No matter who waltzes through the doors of the AXA training centre, our No.17 can remain comfortable in the knowledge that he will be given the opportunity to retain his starting berth in the first-XI next term.
Deservedly so, of course, given the quality of performances we’ve witnessed since he broke into the first-XI for the goalless draw with Chelsea back in early April.
Whether Jones can live up to the positively gobsmacking praise awarded to him by one of the club’s greatest-ever servants remains to be seen.
Regardless, one thing is for absolute certain: the emergence of a Gerrard 2.0 would hugely make up for the absence of Jude Bellingham in the squad next term.