By Scott Taylor
Lloyd Jones is the second player in the ‘Who is…’ series after Sheyi Ojo last week. Jones is a centre-back who captains the Liverpool Under 21s but has not yet made his debut for the first team.
The Englishman joined Liverpool from Plymouth Argyle in the summer of 2011, after he put in a string of good performances whilst on trial at the end of the 2010/11 season. His signature did come at a cost however, as the Reds had to pay a ‘six figure fee’ to his old side as a result, but he is starting to prove he is worth every penny.
After making his debut for Steve Cooper’s Under 18s, Jones was rewarded with a professional contract with the club. That alone suggests that he is highly rated at the Kirkby Academy. For the following season in 2012/13, Jones played mostly with the Under 18s, but did feature in the NextGen series with the Under 19s.
His performances in youth football’s biggest arena attracted interest from Alex Inglethorpe, especially after he needed a centre-back because of Andre Wisdom’s promotion to the first team.
He then featured for the Under 21s from January to May, and in just five months with the development side, Jones was promoted to the first team, being an unused substitute against Fulham in 2013. The number 51 played a full season in the Under 21s last season, missing just one match as his commitment was rewarded as he was named captain of the Under 21s at just 18.
Although born in England, Jones represented Wales at Under 17 and Under 18 level, because his father is Welsh. Jones was then called up to the Wales Under 21 squad against San Marino in October 2013, but opted out saying he wanted to play for England instead. Who can blame him as well, because one he was born in England and secondly because his rapid development with Liverpool means he has a good chance of representing England in years to come.
He has since represented England at Under 19 and Under 20 level, impressing throughout. There would be no surprising feeling if he is to be named in Gareth Southgate’s Under 21 squad soon.