It was a case of ‘two points dropped’ for Liverpool last weekend as the Reds struggled to break down a spirited Luton Town side. It took a late equaliser from the returning Luis Díaz to rescue a point at Kenilworth Road.
Díaz’s goal was a wonderful moment for all connected to the club – the Colombian revealed a t-shirt in honour of his father who was kidnapped at gunpoint in his hometown ten days ago.
It was a rare off day for Jürgen Klopp’s new-look midfield, with Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister well below their best.
One man sadly missing from the action following a good start to the season was Curtis Jones. The 22-year-old has not been seen in the Premier League since his red card at Spurs through a combination of suspension and injury.
Questions have been raised about Jones’ availability issues, with the Toxteth-born midfielder struggling to retain a place in the starting 11 despite proving his worth to the team.
On the latest episode of our Journo Insight show, we asked experienced LFC reporter Neil Jones for his thoughts on Curtis Jones.
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“‘Unlucky’ I suppose would be the way you’d describe it – a three-game ban when he was playing particularly well and had the place in the team, not nailed down, but he was definitely in possession of the shirt.
“We’ve seen what happens when he can get a bit of momentum behind him. It’s just that he hasn’t been able to get a bit of momentum behind him often enough in a Liverpool shirt.
“Fingers crossed, this isn’t another period where you’re talking about ‘three games missed’ and then an international break, and all of a sudden you’re out of rhythm again or having to come on for 15 minutes in the league games and maybe not show your best.
“He’s one of them that Liverpool are going to be relying on this season, and for that, obviously, they need him to be fit and available.
“Fingers crossed it’s just a one-game absence – a little knock that he can overcome and get back into it, because he’s got part to play for Liverpool in all competitions this season.
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Curtis Jones – who was hailed as ‘outstanding’ by former Anfield captain Jordan Henderson recently – has developed an unfortunate habit of stunting his momentum so far in his Liverpool career. A succession of unrelated injuries have limited his opportunities in the last few seasons. He has proved he has what it takes to perform at a high level for his manager. He was a key part of the Reds’ 18-game unbeaten run across two seasons this year and has matured greatly as a player. He was the first choice in the left-sided ‘eight’ role in the superb 3-0 home victory over Aston Villa and looked set for a long run in the side.
Hopefully, Curtis can hit the ground running when he returns, with the likes of Ryan Gravenberch and potentially Alexis Mac Allister providing him with stiff competition for the shirt. If he can avoid the issues faced by former team-mate Naby Keita, who was never able to put in a consistent run of games despite his undoubted ability.