Curtis Jones produced another superb display for Liverpool in their 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night and with the 19-year-old having now established himself as a regular in Jurgen Klopp’s side, you wonder whether the German manager could lose patience with fellow midfielder Naby Keita.
The Guinean has endured his fair share of injury problems since joining the Merseyside club from RB Leipzig in 2018, which have meant that he has never really been able to enjoy a run of games in the first-team.
The midfielder has made just 70 appearances in two and a half years with the club, in which he has contributed seven goals and four assists.
Jones meanwhile, who only made his first-team debut in September 2019, has now played 28 times for the first-team, with six goals and two assists to his name and Klopp is clearly a huge fan, having labelled the youngster an “exceptional talent” earlier this season.
The fact that the academy graduate is just one goal off equalling Keita’s goal record with the club in significantly fewer games suggests that, on current form, he should be starting ahead of the 25-year-old.
Therefore, Klopp should consider axing Keita in the near future, as unfortunately, he has never really been able to find his feet at the Merseyside club, and once the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago return from injury, you worry that he will slip even further down the pecking order.
Virgil van Dijk was full of praise for the midfielder earlier in the year, saying:
“Naby is a fantastic guy, he works so hard and he is an outstanding football player. We see it week in and week out. He has unfortunately been unlucky with some injuries, but hopefully, he can stay fully fit for the next season.
“I think he is world-class if I’m absolutely honest. I see all the moments when he has the ball, the smart moves, the smart intelligence. It’s just incredible to see and I’m very happy for him.”
Unfortunately, Keita has not been able to showcase that ability on a consistent enough basis during his time with Liverpool and the superb performances of Jones in recent weeks could perhaps be the final nail in the coffin for the Guinean international.