Danny Murphy believes that Curtis Jones’ emergence in the Liverpool team has stopped the club from feeling worried about Georginio Wijnaldum’s departure.
As it stands, Wijnaldum will enter free agency on July 1 after five years of outstanding Reds service. Talk of deals with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona have grown, but nothing has yet been announced. Nevertheless, Liverpool look highly unlikely to resolve his contractual situation before the summer.
The 30-year-old will still prove a big miss in Jurgen Klopp’s team; the manager picked out his reliability and consistency since joining from Newcastle in 2016 as his key traits.
But as Klopp also said, footballers moving on is a normal part of the game. As such, the manager must adapt and Murphy believes the German sees Jones as a big future talent.
The pundit told Stadium Astro: “Probably the reason why they have not moved heaven and earth to keep him is the emergence of Curtis Jones.
“What I understand, and the evidence is there in terms of the games he’s played, but there are high hopes for Jones playing in that position, left of a three, rather than a front player.
“Probably the emergence of him has made them decide that they’re going to let him go.”
Jones made his Liverpool debut in the 2018/19 season, in an FA Cup tie against Wolves.
However, he truly made his breakthrough last season. Amid scoring a fantastic FA Cup winner against Everton, he made six Premier League outings and subsequently earned a winner’s medal.
This term, though, he has progressed again to become a vital part of the midfield. Indeed, injuries to Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita have meant he has made 24 top-flight appearances.
Liverpool star wants to give Klopp problem
Meanwhile, Nathaniel Phillips is another Liverpool star who has impressed this season.
Unlike Jones, though, he came in from the cold after dramatic injuries to all three senior Liverpool centre-backs.
Despite his unexpected rise, he has performed well and wants to fight for his place next season when Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip return.