England Under-21s manager Lee Carsley has hailed Liverpool's Curtis Jones as among the most talented players he has ever worked with.
As well as establishing himself as a trusted regular under Jurgen Klopp in recent months, Jones also played a starring role for his country over the summer – and was one of the Young Lions' top performers in the Under-21 European Championship triumph in Georgia.
Jones was credited with the winning goal in the 1-0 final victory over Spain and, although that strike came in highly fortuitous circumstances, the midfielder was also named Man of the Match for his display.
At 22, Jones has now aged out of consideration for the England Under-21 side, but is fondly remembered by manager Carsley who described the homegrown Liverpool midfielder as 'outstanding'.
“Similar to Cole (Palmer), I'm not surprised one bit (by how Jones has been doing),” Carsley told reporters. “Curtis would be up there with the most talented players I've worked with.
“He's got everything that you need as a midfielder. He can run, he is very, very fast, he's powerful, he can score, he can assist, he can defend, he can take the ball - all he needs is opportunity.
“The way he's played when I've seen him play, he's been outstanding. He just needed to stay fit.
“I know he’s struggled sometimes with that consistency of playing but to see him take that form that he showed in the summer, that responsibility, the understanding of the position, into playing for Liverpool is brilliant to see.”
While Jones is now too old for the England Under-21s, there are three other Liverpool starlets in Carsley's latest squad to face Serbia and Northern Ireland this month – Harvey Elliot, Jarell Quansah and Tyler Morton.
On Elliott, Carsley said: “Harvey is another player you can see is infectious.
"He loves football, it's very difficult to get him off the training ground once we're on it because he wants to practise and he wants to play.
“He's been making a real impact when he comes on, especially in the Premier League. It was good to see him start the game on Thursday (against Toulouse) as well.
“A player that we have got a lot of faith in and we see him as a real high potential. Seeing the way that he's developed has been very good, not only on the pitch but off the pitch.
“The setbacks he came back from, having such a tough injury, he's shown that mentality to come back, and to come back so quickly from it, and carry on where he left off. It has been good to see.”
Carsley, a former Everton midfielder, was also highly complimentary of 20-year-old centre back Quansah who has broken into the Reds' first-team set up this season.
The young defender earned his first Under-21s' cap last month and looks set for a bright future for both club and country.
“It’s good to see, Jarell especially, playing and doing so well. He's very mature. That's something that stands out with him," Carsley said.
“He's very level-headed. You get the feeling that, along with a lot of the other players, that whatever challenge you throw at them, they just handle and they just take in their stride.
“The support he's obviously got behind him at Liverpool, you can sense that they rate him highly and when a player feels that, it generally transfers into the performances that you see. I thought it was a good example on Thursday night.
“The big thing for us is to get him some game time with us. He's made his debut already but he, like a lot of the other players, will want to start for the Under-21s and he is going the right way about it.”