Curtis Jones has delivered English football a proper wake-up call

Curtis Jones has delivered everyone in English football a wake-up call over the last few weeks. Liverpool have a true gem.

Curtis Jones earned himself back-to-back Man of the Match nods in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. The midfielder scored a heavily deflected equaliser for Liverpool against Fulham, which is on the back of a two-goal display against West Ham United in the previous round.

Should Liverpool go on to win the trophy, then, Jones will have played as big a role as anyone. That on its own should show just how far he's come over the last year.

Because go back one year and few were talking about Jones. He didn't have much of a reputation outside of Anfield and it's even debatable how big his local reputation was.

The last year has been enormous for Jones, though. He's become a regular for Liverpool (even if he's still requesting more game time) and even with an influx of midfielders over the summer, he's retained his place in the squad.

In fact, he's even managed to grow it. Is there a midfielder who should be above him in the pecking order? It's hard to make a case for anyone given his recent form.

Because Jones has managed to do the one thing you merely hope a young player can master - become reliable. That's the reason many talents burn out and why some of the most talented youngsters never make it. You've got to be reliable at a top club - they can't risk playing you if you're going to make mistakes.

Jones, though, does not make many mistakes at all. Nothing highlights that better than his pass completion in the Premier League this season - 91.6%. Per Fbref, that's good enough for 14th in the Premier League right now and third amongst midfielders. The only two that better it are Manchester City's Mateo Kovacic and Rodri.

The Scouser actually hit a new high for the season against Fulham, too. Jones misplaced just one pass all game, achieving a 98% success rate. This is from a 22-year-old. His lowest of the season is still a solid 85%, coming against Union in the Europa League when he attempted 72 passes.

Pressing - another area you expect to come from experience, rather than youth - is another area Jones excels. Only Alexis Mac Allister has blocked more passes in the Liverpool squad and the Reds' no.17 is fifth in the Premier League amongst players with at least his total minutes.

Of course, he's not absolutely perfect - Jones is dispossessed more than any player at Liverpool (2.5 per 90). That's a figure you expect from forwards, but not midfielders and it's clearly where he needs to improve. Tightening up that area of his game would be an enormous step in the right direction and towards the reliability Liverpool want in there.

But as a base at 22? You can't ask for more. Jones has already nailed down some of the toughest aspects of playing in midfield and can instead focus on becoming more dangerous with the ball - something his last few games demonstrated wonderfully. He's threatening teams with the ball, showing he can finish and showing he can win games.

It feels like the last month has been a wake-up call to English football that Jones really is a play who deserves a big reputation. The sky's the limit and it's time that's recognised.

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