Danny Mills has claimed Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones is not good enough to be a regular player for the club if they are to challenge for the Premier League and Champions League.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former England and Leeds United defender claimed the 19-year-old is a squad player at best.
The England youth international made his 11th appearance of the season against Brighton on Saturday, replacing James Milner at right-back after 74 minutes.
The Reds were leading 1-0 when he came on but Andy Robertson conceded a late penalty that Pascal Groß duly converted and the game ended 1-1.
Asked by Football Insider whether the youngster has the potential to become a regular starter under Jurgen Klopp, Mills said: “All of their young players from what I’ve seen so far they’re all squad players.
“I haven’t seen any of them that are ready to step up into the first team as a regular starter.
“I think Curtis Jones has done well and he’s had a part to play.
“But long-term, can you go the whole season with him in the side and off the back of that challenge for the Champions League, challenge again for the Premier League.
“He’s not quite at that level yet. He’s a good young prospect but you need to drip feed them in, give them two or three games at a time to build that experience.
“The moment they have a poor performance you take them out, give them a little bit of a rest because you always get ups and downs.
“Undoubtedly there are some talented players in there but can Curtis Jones play in midfield the rest of the season and Liverpool still challenge for the league and the Champions League? I think that’s a stretch too far.”
In other Liverpool news, Football Insider can REVEAL a big twist in Georginio Wijnaldum’s future at the club amid new talks.