In case you were living under a rock on Saturday, or just enjoying the restrictions being lifted around England allowing you to go out and enjoy the pub, Liverpool signed promising 19-year-old midfielder Curtis Jones to a new long-term contract. The Merseyside-born player is following in the footsteps of recent Liverpool Academy graduate Trent Alexander-Arnold and is expected to have a much bigger role in 2020-21.
Although playing a very limited role this season, appearing twice so far in the Premier League after 32 matchdays for a total of 19 minutes, Jones has shone in his time on the pitch. His most memorable moment came against Everton in the FA Cup third round at Anfield when his long-range curler found the back of the net to give Liverpool the win. He added a second in the FA Cup in the fourth round versus Shrewsbury Town in the Reds 2-2 draw at Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Jurgen Klopp has been a big fan of the teenager this season and in spite of playing just twice in the league, Jones has been on the bench eight times. The significance of being in the team and seeing the games from the bench is far different than from the stands in the reserves.
Jones has spent much of the season playing for Liverpool’s Premier League 2 team. According to Transfermarkt, Jones has scored nine goals and added five assists in just 14 Premier League 2 matches. He also scored five times in four UEFA Youth League games. The potential of Jones is immense and with the departure of Adam Lallana this offseason and the unknown future of Georginio Wijnaldum, Klopp is set to give the youngster an expanded role in the team.
The midfielder’s development led Blackburn Rovers to an ambitions attempt at signing him. When Rhian Brewster went out on loan in January to Swansea, there were expectations that Jones could go too. However, Klopp kept the midfielder at Anfield to continue his development and is unwilling to loan him out for next season.
Jones joined Liverpool’s under-9 team just over a decade ago. He is one of three youngsters that Klopp is expected to progress further and make bigger parts to the first team in 2020-21. Right-back Neco Williams — who appeared in both Liverpool’s games versus Crystal Palace and Manchester City –, and Harvey Elliot are likely to get more playing time as well. The departure of Nathaniel Clyne in June will open up the door for Williams as Alexander-Arnold’s back-up and fuel talks of the current No. 1 right-back moving into midfield or playing as a wing. Elliot’s role could expand if the rumours of Xherdan Shaqiri’s exit come to fruition.
According to one source, Jones made £520,000 in 2019-20 as a Red. That salary is sure to have increased significantly with the new contract announced on Saturday.
Although Jones’ signing is a fantastic move for the Reds, they were unable to resign midfielder Pedro Chirivella, who moved to Ligue 1 team Nantes in June. Chirivella turned down a five-year contract extension to get regular playing time.