When Liverpool lined up agains Napoli on Tuesday evening, the biggest question mark in the lineup was where exactly Curtis Jones would be player. The early going, when he often seemed to drop centrally and swap with Roberto Firmino, hardly clarified matters.
As the game progressed, though, it became clear he was playing on the left wing, giving his own interpretation of the role normally filled by the injured Luiz Diaz or Diogo Jota. After the match, he talked about how much he enjoyed the role—but mostly that he just enjoyed the chance to play and start.
“Any time I play I’m enjoying it,” Jones noted. “Of course, I was out for 10 weeks but now I’m back playing so happy days. I’ll play anywhere, I’m one of them. Say somebody had picked up a knock and I had to fill in at the back then I’d play there and I wouldn’t complain.
“Since my Academy days I’ve always been an attacking kid, I’ve always said that I like to score goals and I like to create and stuff. The role had changed a bit but today I was back out there on the left in a position that I love and that I’ve played a lot.”
While Jones lacks the kind of speed Diaz in particular has in the role, his tendency to drift inside, dragging the defender and creating room for the left back to overlap brings something a little different to the dynamic on that side of the pitch and on the whole his contributions on Tuesday were a positive.
Now, with Napoli out of the way and Liverpool’s Champions League group stage wrapped up with a 15-point second place finish, focus turns back to the league and Tottenham on the weekend, and Jones will again be hoping to play and make a positive impact.
“It will be a hard game, but for us it’s just another game against another hard opponent,” Jones said of the Reds’ next opponents. “I would say that each game in the Premier League and Champions League is always hard, so I just see it as another game.”