Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey has hailed youngster Curtis Jones, claiming that he has what it takes to replace the departed Georginio Wijnaldum.

Speaking on Seaman Says Podcast, as relayed by HITC, Emile Heskey has lavished serious praise on Liverpool starlet Curtis Jones, insisting that the 20-year-old can be the ideal long-term replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who left the club in the summer.

Jones, a product of Liverpool’s youth academy, broke into the first-team picture a couple of years ago. The youngster has made 52 appearances for the Reds to date, scoring and assisting eight goals apiece, carving out a place for himself in Jurgen Klopp’s plans.

Even though he seemed to have gone off the boil towards the backend of the last season and did not start the new campaign as a regular, Jones has worked his way back into the starting lineup for the Merseyside giants. What’s more, the 20-year-old played very well in Liverpool’s games against FC Porto and Brentford.

Jones’ displays over the past couple of matches have now caught the eyes of former Liverpool and Leicester City striker Emile Heskey. The ex-England international spoke highly of the 20-year-old versatile midfielder, insisting that he can be the long-term replacement for Wijnaldum for Liverpool.

“I think with Wijnaldum they were probably looking at Curtis Jones and they want to give youth a chance. They were probably looking at that and thinking he has to step up to the plate because they want to give these kids a chance, but they have to take the opportunities, but he’s shown that he’s more than capable of taking these opportunities,” Heskey said.

Jones had been linked with a late exit from Anfield in the summer, with there being interest from Aston Villa. Leeds United also had made an approach for the 20-year-old in August. However, Liverpool decided not to sanction the move and it clearly has worked out well for the club as well as the player himself.

Having made a great impression in the last couple of matches, Jones will be hoping to build on that and establish himself as a permanent fixture in the Liverpool midfield. A good showing against reigning champions Manchester City on Sunday evening could help him achieve just that.

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