Liverpool youth coach Barry Lewtas has paid tribute to the frightening talent that is Curtis Jones after his stunning hat-trick in a 7-0 thrashing of Napoli in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday, speaking to the Echo.
While Jurgen Klopp’s star-studded first-team struggled to break down a well organised Napoli outfit at Anfield, succumbing in the end to a disappointing 1-1 draw, The Reds’ next generation had little trouble ripping into their Italian opponents.
Liverpool had challenged Jones to score more goals this season after taking the captain’s armband at U23 level (Goal) and the teenager has certainly stepped up to the plate. With that clinical treble in midweek, Jones took his tally to 12 in just 18 games from central midfield.
No wonder Lewtas is thrilled to see this powerhouse of a playmaker push on to greater heights behind the scenes on Merseyside.
"Curtis has upped his level again," says Lewtas. "He's the captain, and as he spends a lot of his time at Melwood like some of the other boys, he comes here and shows the level they are at.
"They have a huge responsibility to the younger ones, who have responded to that.
"His hat-trick goal was pretty frightening, and I don't think he'd have been too happy had I substituted him before that!”
Jones has gone from strength to strength during his breakthrough season. And, after scoring the winning spot-kick in a penalty shoot out victory against Arsenal in the EFL Cup, he is set to captain a much-changed Liverpool side during December’s semi-final meeting with Aston Villa, Goal reports.
The way he’s playing right now, don’t bet against him scoring the goal that sends The Reds to Wembley.
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