Curtis Jones isn’t quite ready for game time at Liverpool but his training performances have been hailed by boss Jurgen Klopp.
The Reds were in action on Sunday evening as they took on rivals Manchester City at Anfield.
Few were really giving Liverpool a chance but they pulled it out of the bag, claiming a 1-0 win thanks to Mohamed Salah’s superb goal.
The attention will quickly turn to Wednesday’s clash with West Ham United, with Klopp counting the walking wounded.
FC Red Bull Salzburg v FC Liverpool – Friendly Match
CURTIS JONES ISN’T QUITE READY FOR GAME TIME AT LIVERPOOL
Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Luis Diaz are already out of action with Diogo Jota joining that absent list.
There were boosts for Liverpool on Sunday though with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones fit for the bench.
Alexander-Arnold managed to come on as a substitute but Jones didn’t make an appearance.
Klopp has now spoken about Jones, telling the media earlier today that he was never going to come on against City.
Klopp claims he was never planning to bring Jones on because he wasn’t actually ready to play, but Liverpool had room for him to be on the bench.
The German added that Jones has looked ‘really good’ in training of late but he just isn’t ready to play Premier League football.
Klopp noted that Jones was getting closer but then missed training on Monday, so whether he is on the bench against West Ham remains to be seen.
“Curtis was on the bench, but it was clear that we would not bring him on,” said Klopp. “We just had space and he looks really good in training, but he needs further training until he can be really available. He may be a step closer, but didn’t train yesterday, so maybe half a step closer,” he added.
Jones, 21, hasn’t played a single minute of competitive action this season due to injury.
The midfielder needed a big season given that some have suggested Jones is stalling at Anfield and may end up being moved on if he doesn’t kick on.
It hasn’t happened for Jones yet this season but Klopp clearly thinks very highly of the midfielder.
Hopefully Jones can get himself fit and make a real impact in this Liverpool, proving that he deserves to stay at Anfield for a while yet.