LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's substitute Curtis Jones during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Curtis Jones handed valuable international chance with England U21s

Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott have both been named in the England under-21s squad for their upcoming friendlies, an invaluable shot at minutes for the former.

While Elliott remains the only Liverpool player to feature in every game this season, Jones has made just 12 appearances for a total of 324 minutes.

The No. 17 has battled injuries and has recently been part of a rotating substitute bench alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fabio Carvalho.

Jones has made just two starts this season and despite his lack of game time, he has been called up to Lee Carsley’s 26-man squad for the upcoming international break.

The Young Lions meet France (March 25) and Croatia (March 28) in preparation for the U21 European Championship this summer, which Elliott and Jones will hope to be a part of.

England's Curtis Jones during the UEFA Euro 2021 Under-21 Qualifying Group 3 match at Molineux, Wolverhampton. ( Mike Egerton/PA Wire/PA Images)

While Jones is now 22, as he was born on or after January 1, 2000, he remains eligible to take part in the upcoming tournament.

The international break is often one where fans are eager to see their senior players handed as much respite as possible, but it’s the other way around for Jones.

With only 55 minutes played in 2023, five games off the bench, England’s two friendlies could act as an invaluable chance for Jones to get minutes in his legs ahead of the final 12 games of the season.

With Stefan Bajcetic now out for the rest of the season and injuries never too far away in midfield, Jones could use a springboard to see out the campaign strongly.

Jones, and Elliott, are not without competition in the England U21s midfield, though, with Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa), Angel Gomes (Lille) and Oliver Skipp (Tottenham) among the options for Carsley.