Curtis Jones has burst onto the scene for Liverpool U18s in recent weeks, making his debut and making the headlines with two goals in his first three games at this level.
The midfielder helped his side to a 5-1 win at Stoke before Jones shone again for Neil Critchley’s side in his FA Youth Cup debut in the win at home to Crystal Palace. Here is all you need to know about the youngster.
Jones, 15, was previously playing for Des Maher’s Under-16s, and after rave reviews, he was given an opportunity at Under-18 level.
He made his debut on 3 December, playing in the number 8 role, and featuring for the full 90 minutes in Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Middlesbrough at the Kirkby Academy.
He then marked his first away start with a maiden Under-18s goal, scoring in the 43rd minute to put Liverpool 3-0 up on their way to a 5-1 victory at Stoke, even though he was cautioned.
Despite playing in his third game in two weeks, Jones didn’t look to be showing any signs of fatigue, by playing the full 120 minutes in the FA Youth Cup tie at home to Palace on Saturday.
He rounded off a fine display with his third goal in two games, as Liverpool sealed their progression to the fourth round where they will visit Manchester City in January 2017.
Liverpool started the brighter of the two sides, with Jones and Glen McAuley going close, but it was the visitors who took the lead as Diego Lattie brought down Levi Lumeka in the penalty area and the striker dusted himself off to slot past Kamil Grabara.
Liverpool created several opportunities, with both Rhian Brewster and McAuley being denied by Palace ‘keeper Colm McAdden, who replaced the injured Oliver Webber at half-time.
His resistance was eventually broken with Jones curling in an equaliser, before substitute Toni Gomes completed the turnaround a few minutes into extra-time, but they were dealt a huge blow moments later.
Liam Coyle was sent off for a second bookable offence and then Kian Flanagan rubbed salt in the Reds’ wounds by snatching an equaliser to force the game to go to penalties.
Liverpool looked to have thrown the tie away when Yan Dhanda missed yet another penalty this season, but his team-mate Grabara was the hero denying both Victor Fundi and Tariq Ossai.
McAuley, who already has 13 goals to his name this season, netted the winning spot kick to send his side through to the fourth round.
Critchley’s side will be without midfielders Herbie Kane and Coyle with the former injured and the latter now suspended after his red card, so Jones may get more opportunities to make his mark.
Jones is also an England youth international, representing the Three Lions at Under-16 level.
The midfielder has also captained the Reds at Under-16 level, most notably in their tournament success in the Czech Republic in September and makes the step up to Under 18 level with plenty of excitement and pedigree.