Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones is not yet good enough to be a regular player in Jurgen Klopp’s side, according to former England right-back Danny Mills. Academy graduate Jones has made 11 appearances in all competitions this season, including six starts. The 19-year-old was forced to play as a makeshift right-back in the second half of Saturday’s draw at Brighton following a hamstring injury suffered by James Milner.
But Mills believes, from what he has seen, England under-21 international Jones is not ready to be playing regular football for the Reds.
“All of their young players, from what I’ve seen so far, they’re all squad players,” Mills told Football Insider.
“I haven’t seen any of them that are ready to step up into the first team as a regular starter.
“I think Curtis Jones has done well and he’s had a part to play.
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“But long-term, can you go the whole season with him in the side and off the back of that challenge for the Champions League, challenge again for the Premier League?
“He’s not quite at that level yet. He’s a good young prospect but you need to drip feed them in, give them two or three games at a time to build that experience.
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“The moment they have a poor performance you take them out, give them a little bit of a rest because you always get ups and downs.
“Undoubtedly there are some talented players in there but can Curtis Jones play in midfield the rest of the season and Liverpool still challenge for the league and the Champions League? I think that’s a stretch too far.”
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Liverpool conceded a late equaliser to draw 1-1 at Brighton but still moved up to the top of the Premier League.
Captain Jordan Henderson says the club’s growing injury list is a concern but says it is not a surprise other teams are suffering similar problems.
Henderson told Match of the Day: “The players have started a month later and are playing in all the competitions. It’s no coincidence there are a lot of injuries.
“It is hard but I don’t think it’s going to change. You just have to get on with it. It is difficult. Just have to keep going.
“We have had a lot of injuries but a lot of teams have. You have to deal with it as best you can.
“We can talk about it now and off the field but when we cross the white line we give it everything. Unfortunately there are more injuries than normal.”
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