Steve McManaman’s thoughts on what 22-year-old midfielder Curtis Jones needs to do to come out of his shell

Steve McManaman's thoughts on what 22-year-old midfielder Curtis Jones needs to do to come out of his shell Hot Prospect

Born in his hometown of Liverpool, he joined the academy at the age of 8. He showed more aggressive, goal-oriented play with the U-18 and U-21 teams, and around 2018 he began to accompany the first team and has continued his career as a genuine one-club man, without any loan transfers.

Since the second half of last season, the quality of his play has improved and he has become a regular contender; the 22-year-old midfielder has taken over the intense pressing after the departure of Jordan Henderson and James Milner, and has constantly and repeatedly defended from the front.

However, he has contributed less offensively than he did in the academy, and his safety-first passing has been criticized.

Former England midfielder Steve McManaman, who played for Liverpool and Real Madrid during his playing days, said further development will require more goals and assists, as he did in his youth days.

“I loved the way he played against West Ham United, that’s the way he should play all the time. During his time with the under-18s and under-21s, that’s what he was like. He was the leading goalscorer, he took people on and was the most creative. When you see him play like that in the first-team, it’s exactly how I remember him and I hope to see more of that.”

“When he first made that step-up, maybe he was trying to play it a bit safer and you take fewer chances in the game. Liverpool always play with three forwards, so there are always people ahead of you who you feel you have to pass to. I know Curtis very well. When he has that confidence and drives forwards, he very rarely gives the ball away. For a midfielder, everybody talks about adding goals and assists. It takes you to the next level.”

“I worked at the Academy when he was coming through and spoke to him a lot. I’m not saying I’ve given him advice and helped him on his way, but I’ve been there for a lot of his games at youth level. I speak to him now and again and I’m thrilled to bits for him.”

Liverpool Echo