As time ticks by closer to the January transfer window, the chances of Gini Wijnaldum leaving Liverpool for free at the end of the season - which are already quite high - are only increasing.
Wijnaldum is a player who has become vital under Jurgen Klopp, playing pretty much every game when he is available, in a variety of roles, but as of the New Year, he can sign a pre-contract agreement with any club abroad ahead of the 2021/22 season.
As important as Wijnaldum is to the Reds, he is also a player who has turned 30, and Liverpool are perhaps looking to the future, seeking to safeguard themselves against having to replace several of their top stars in one go.
With other midfielders, plus key men like Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, arguably having to be phased out at some point over the coming seasons, replacing them gradually - over a number of seasons - is a logical move.
It's even more logical when you look at some of the players already on Liverpool's books who are at the start of their careers.
Against Leicester on Sunday, the Liverpool midfield with both Curtis Jones and Naby Keita in looked attacking on paper, but they have both adapted their games this season to become more defensively resilient and responsible.
Several Liverpool players - Wijnaldum being the obvious one - have successfully played roles that you might not stereotypically associate them with, and Jones could be the latest example of that.
As Jones came through at the Academy, there were times when he played on the left of a front three, showcasing his dribbling skills, sharp shooting and vision.
But he has always been more of a central midfield player, and now has increased his defensive output to such an extent he helped Liverpool dominate against the likes of Youri Tielemans and James Maddison with relative ease.
During the 90 minutes, Jones made nine ball recoveries (including one vital one, winning possession back from Jamie Vardy ), and posted an impressive 91 per cent pass accuracy - the kind of numbers that Wijnaldum posts from the same number eight position.
As Theo Squires said on the Blood Red podcast : "Jones is 19, but it feels like he is 23 or 24. He is so mature and he is playing years ahead of what you would expect.
"This Liverpool midfield is set up perfectly for his career. Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Wijnaldum, James Milner - they are all heading towards their 30s, so in a couple of years, they will be eased out.
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"It is almost like how Steven Gerrard got into the Liverpool team - we're not going to compare him, but they have the right players for him to learn off.
"Gerrard has always spoken about Paul Ince, Jamie Redknapp and Gary McAllister, and he got more and more opportunities as they were eased out - you can see the same sort of thing happening with Jones."
Just over 12 months ago, Jones was tasked with adding goals to his game, culminating in him scoring a hat-trick for Barry Lewtas' U19s in the UEFA Youth League against Napoli.
Then came the job of making him thrive under more responsibility, with Liverpool capitalising on that exuberance and confidence that has always flowed through him. A successful move up to being U23s captain under Neil Critchley was the result of that decision.
Now he has taken the next step, too, this time as a member of the first-team squad under Klopp, seemingly adding defensive discipline to his game.
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Leicester was only Jones' third Premier League start, but plenty more will follow this season, giving him plenty more chances to grow further into the all-round midfielder he is showing signs of becoming.
Wijnaldum is not the only player that Liverpool could mould Jones into a replacement for, but the Dutchman appears to be likeliest to move on first, and the signs were there on Sunday that Jones can become that type of midfielder.
Jones will have his eyes on that role should it become available as expected in around six month's time. Given his rise to date and the likelihood of further opportunities in the team before then, he could well take it.