‘I hope he’s frustrated about last season’ – One Liverpool player told he needs to improve
Dynamic Liverpool-born midfielder Jones was on the score-sheet as Jurgen Klopp’s side started their pre-season campaign at Tranmere Rovers on Thursday, scoring the fourth goal in a 6-0 win.
The 18-year-old also impressed in pre-season 12 months ago having established himself as a real prospect on the club’s tour of the United States, particularly against Manchester City.
Jones – who has been with the club since under-9s level – went on to be handed his competitive first-team debut for the Merseyside outfit in January as Liverpool lost 2-1 to Wolves in the FA Cup, though he was largely ineffective.
That was the only appearance that the made all season, though he was an unused substitute in a Carabao Cup defeat to Chelsea earlier in the year and then against West Ham in the Premier League in February.
But according to Warnock, Jones should be disappointed that he didn’t manage to break into Klopp’s senior squad more often last term.
“I hope he’s frustrated about his season last season. He started off like a house on fire in pre-season. I was really excited to see him,” Warnock told LFCTV after the win at Tranmere.
“I thought, ‘He’s got some talent this boy!’ But he dropped off a bit. Whether that was an acceptance that he’d got himself into the first-team and he was happy with what he’d done, but you can’t be happy, you’ve got to try and displace someone out of the team.
“I thought he disappointed in the Wolves game. I expected that little bit more of him. But he’ll be nervous, again.
Curtis Jones might have hoped for more first-team action in 2018-19
Curtis Jones is highly-rated by Liverpool’s academy staff
If not then he goes on loan then he tries to mature and grow up as the likes of Harry Wilson have done
“Maybe he’s gone away, strong pre-season under his belt now and he can really kick on for this season and try and get more game-time in the first-team.
“If not then he goes on loan then he tries to mature and grow up as the likes of Harry Wilson have done.”
Jason McAteer, meanwhile, suspects Jones might benefit from a temporary spell away from Anfield at a Championship club.
The former Liverpool midfielder said: “I feel he’s one you’d look at going on loan. I think it’d do him the world of good. There’s nothing better, you look at Harry Wilson, than playing week-in, week-out, playing in a proper football environment.
“You can only learn so much, the learning curve can only be so high when it comes to under-23s football. For us it was different we had reserve football, we were playing with players who were coming back from injury or who had been dropped.
Stephen Warnock was disappointed Curtis Jones didn’t break into the first-team last term
Curtis Jones was on the score-sheet in the 6-0 win at Tranmere
“You were still learning, you’re only a little step away from the first-team. But under-23s can be a big step away from the first-team these days. There’s only so much you can take from that.
“The big step is going away and playing, as you can see with Wilson. I think Curtis Jones is one who could go out on loan, Championship club.
“There’s plenty of good managers and good clubs out there with great philosophies who he could fit into and then come back and then see how he is next season.”
Jones – who has often occupied the most advanced role of a midfield three for Liverpool’s youth teams – has plenty of competition in midfield ahead of him with Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Gini Wijnaldum among Klopp’s current options in the middle.