When Liverpool announced their first XI ahead of the European clash with Midtjylland, there was an important name missing from the team sheet – Curtis Jones – which proves the Red’s changed role at the club, as the Echo reported.
Jurgen Klopp handed a Champions League debut to youngster Leighton Clarkson, who started in the youngest Champions League side the Reds have ever put out.
It’s never a pleasant thing to be benched for such a game, throwaway as it was; you always want to be racking up the minutes in Europe.
However, Jones shouldn’t take offence at all, as Klopp’s decision arguably demonstrates that he has climbed up the pecking order beyond the likes of Naby Keita and Taki Minamino.
The first of those two names is particularly important, given our German manager’s fondness for the mercurial midfielder.
Injury has, of course, played a part in the No.17’s (and the Guinean’s) change of fortunes, with the Englishman being granted a number of opportunities during the absences of Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and co.
The argument will be made that the Academy graduate would be instantly displaced the moment the former Bayern Munich man returned to action.
However, we shouldn’t be quick to dismiss Jones’ mature performances of late, nor his continuing, rapid rise under Klopp.