Liverpool face £90 million decision ahead of Leeds United clash amid Curtis Jones dilemma

Curtis Jones was again left out of Liverpool’s match-day squad against Norwich City but Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struggled.

There was no sulking from Curtis Jones.

Despite him being delivered the hammer blow that all footballers dread, he reacted exactly how Jurgen Klopp would have wanted.

For a third successive game, Jones was omitted from Liverpool's match-day squad in the 3-1 win over Norwich City.

No groans from Jones

Having started the five matches beforehand, his situation at Anfield has swiftly changed.

Because of the dearth of injuries at Anfield, with only Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino currently sidelined, it was the midfielder again left out.

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And although Trent Alexander-Arnold was given the afternoon off, Jones was surplus to requirements.

Thiago Alcantara was brought off the bench to the change the game and inspire the comeback win. Meanwhile, James Milner, Fabinho and Harvey Elliott remained the unused midfielders.

Curtis Jones in action for Liverpool. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Indeed, Klopp's admitted the hardest part of his job is leaving out players. He doesn't take relish in telling his troops they're not needed - especially a player who's a born-and-bred Red.

Yet rather than opting for the afternoon off, Jones was still present at Anfield. He sat behind the dugout and watched the defeat of the Canaries.

It's the exact attitude and outlook Klopp demands from any of his players out of the fray. The team comes first.

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Yet the Liverpool manager must be pondering whether to bring Jones back into the fold when Leeds United visit on Wednesday night.

Duo struggle

The performances of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Norwich left a lot to be desired.

Both were handed starts but couldn't seize the chance.

Keita completed 77.2% of passes, which was the lowest of the Liverpool team. He struggled to have an influence and couldn’t make an impact both attacking-wise and defensively.

Klopp recently hailed the Guinea international as one of the best midfielder's he's ever seen on his day.

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Yet the £53 million signing from RB Leipzig has too many days when he's out of sorts. A lack of consistency is why Keita's never fully endeared himself to the Anfield faithful.

For every impressive performance like in the wins over Burnley and Inter Milan, there's a Norwich display not too long afterwards.

Indeed, that can be said for Jones. But he's still only 21 and in the infancy of his career.

Meanwhile, Oxlade-Chamberlain was given a WhoScored player rating of just 6.17 in the Canaries victory. Only Takumi Minamino, who came on as an 89th-minute substitute, was given rated lower by the stats boffins.

Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who cost £35 million from Arsenal in 2017, thrived as a makeshift forward while Mo Salah and Sadio Mane were at the African Cup of Nations. It appeared to be a potential revival having been a key cog before his injury problems.

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However, in his favoured midfield role, he failed to impress. Before he was withdrawn, the former Arsenal man overhit a free-kick and gave away two cheap fouls.

It's fathomable why either Keita or Oxlade-Chamberlain wouldn't be left out of the match-day squad. A combined fee of almost £90 million is a reason. Jones, on the other hand, cost nothing.

However, frustration must be growing for the academy product. A place even on the bench rather than a row behind it would be an improvement.

Thiago and Fabinho are likely to come back into the starting line-up alongside Jordan Henderson against Leeds.

But when it comes to Klopp's options in reserve, he has decisions to make. One of those is whether to bring Jones back in.