There’s a mighty interesting long-read in The Athletic today by the excellent Simon Hughes, which we’d encourage you to check out.
If describes the current Academy plans in terms of recruitment and how the focus now is on securing the best players at six, rather than paying big money for the best players at 16!
There’s a few great snippets, but the one that interests us most regards Curtis Jones – the latest youngster to properly get himself into first-team consideration.
According to Hughes, Everton had the option of securing a young Jones, but didn’t like that he based his game on Cristiano Ronaldo and displayed on-field arrogance!
“There is some satisfaction among long-serving academy staff that Everton had looked at him at the same time, before deciding that he was too cocky because he modelled himself on Cristiano Ronaldo,” he writes. “Jones has been described as a teenager who is “always on the edge — but has unshakable belief.” It was concluded that with his birthday coming late in the school year, a social maturity may arrive later than with other players.”
Jones announced himself to the world earlier this season when he curled in a screamer against Everton in the Merseyside Derby – when a team of kids schooled the Toffees at Anfield in the FA Cup – which must have been incredibly satisfying for the player and the Liverpool staff who originally backed him.
When the transfer window opens – whenever this season is concluded – we don’t think Jurgen Klopp will spend too much time trying to sign new midfielders because of Jones’ emergence.
With Adam Lallana off and James Milner set to play less, the Scouser has a genuine chance of minutes next season if he can continue his upward curve of development.
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