Paul Merson has urged Curtis Jones to make the most of every training session at Liverpool after admitting he feared for the youngster's future.
Jones, 19, only signed a new five-year contract with Liverpool this summer after several impressive performances in the first team.
It was the start of this year when he truly burst onto the scene with his spectacular winning goal against Everton in the FA Cup.
Since then, Jones has gone on to become a fully-fledged member of the senior set-up, but Merson still has concerns about his development.
Speaking on Sky Sports , the Arsenal legend said: "I don’t see him playing at the moment, I’ don’t see him getting in the team.
"He’s probably sitting there thinking ‘I’m doing alright at the moment, I’m playing well.’ And then all of a sudden Thiago comes in and you think ‘where does that leave me’."
Fellow pundit Jamie Redknapp argued that Jones would not necessarily be competing directly with Thiago, given he is a more attacking player.
But Merson responded: "If push comes to shove I think Thiago goes to play more forward than Jones."
Jones started Liverpool's Carabao Cup tie against Arsenal having scored twice in their third round victory over Lincoln, while making an appearance as a substitute in the league opener vs Leeds.
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Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever is set to head to Wolves in a £10million deal, while Gini Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There's a lot to keep track of.
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He has not featured in either of Liverpool's last two Premier League fixtures though, and former Reds captain Redknapp feels it is imperative for Jones that the club stays in the cup competitions.
"At 19 years old at the moment for him it’s so important to stay in the competition for Liverpool," Redknapp said. "This is where he’s going to get his games.
"But in terms of midfield players he’s got all the attributes, but there does come a time you want to play in the first team."
Merson was also discussing Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka, who is the same age as Jones but has just received his first England call-up.
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Saka is already a regular in The Gunners' starting XI, but Merson still offered both players a word of advice.
"I think people like Saka and Jones have got to soak it in and make every training session count," Merson added.
"You [Saka] are playing with [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, Jones is playing with the midfield players at Liverpool and the front players.
"You’ve got to get all that experience, it’s so important."
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