After mysteriously disappearing to the fringes of the squad due to a stress response injury, Curtis Jones has bounced back in a big way, starting five games on the trot.
Manager Jürgen Klopp singled him out for praise when speaking to the press after the 2-1 win against West Ham:
Curtis has [had] a super-difficult season this year. It started with a freakish injury – it happens to young boys but he was on the edge of being not that young anymore to get these kind of things. So, we had to deal with him super-carefully – he was out for a long time and then we could start training again, but only a session here, then recovery again, a session there... you cannot build anything. From the moment he was allowed to train properly again, it looked – step by step – really good.
Since he was fully fit and match-ready, he plays now and he is doing really well. He set the tone again today with the first counter-pressing situation, he was super-important. That he is a good footballer, we all knew – that he has to improve, we knew as well, and he knows, but he’s in a really good moment, a really good moment, [and that is] super-helpful. This team is set up now for the defending, for the defensive readiness. This is a ticket into the team. That doesn’t mean the other boys don’t do that, but these guys now do it like animals, if you want – and really, I like that, how we chase the ball again and these kind of things. On top of that, we are able to play quite good football and Curtis is involved in that as well, absolutely.
Curtis has frustrated many a fan at times but it’s easy to forget that he’s still young and ever-improving. After overcoming his injury issues, this stretch of game time has him looking primed and ready to take a leap. He can start by helping Liverpool finish this season strongly.