Harvey Elliott has been one of Liverpool‘s brightest stars. Having been sidelined due to an ankle dislocation, he was ruled out for more than a half-season. But now, he is back, fully fit. And here’s how he could star for Liverpool next season.
There was some expectation for Elliott’s arrival last summer as he returned from an impressive loan stint at Blackburn.
Nevertheless, few people had predicted that he would start not just three but also the first four Premier League games. And this was including the match against Chelsea.
In the 2-0 victory over Burnley, he excelled with a courageous performance. At Anfield, he was even better in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea, fitting in well.
Keeping Thiago off the field, the Englishman contributed cunning and bravery in the middle as a member of the new-look triangle on the right side with Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Elliott’s development was tragically halted by a horrific left ankle fracture-dislocation while playing against Leeds. And it took him nearly five months to return and score his maiden Reds goal with a swiveling half-volley against Cardiff.
However, after that match, he only made three starts overall, including one in the league. And when he did, he struggled against Inter Milan.
Because of the importance of the games after Christmas, Klopp typically deployed any three of Fabinho, Thiago, Jordan Henderson, and Naby Keita.
Elliott acknowledged that his lack of effort in training contributed to his limited playing time after his injury comeback, which totaled just 336 minutes.
“It’s been tough, there have been a few downfalls and I don’t think I’ve played as much as wanted to since I’ve been back, but hopefully there are many years to come of me playing football.
There were a couple of weeks where I wasn’t training at my best, I wasn’t performing to the best of my ability and I knew that in myself.”
The Reds not adding another midfielder this summer is the current conversation point.
Even while that is drawing a lot of criticism. Especially considering that Milner, Thiago, and Henderson are now in their 30s. And that Fabinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain will reach 29 this year, Elliott may seem like a recent addition.
After taking a summer vacation, he will be well-rested. And a full preseason can only be advantageous.
This means that Elliott’s team status has been improved and that Klopp now expects him to wear the No. 19 jersey on a regular basis.
How can Elliott be part of this Anfield revolution?
In addition to his No. 8 position in a 4-3-3 formation. And if Klopp decides to change his formation, he could also be deployed in a 4-2-3-1.
As a No. 10 in front of a double pivot, Elliott has the cunning to succeed since it gives him more freedom and opportunities for the front three.
During his productive time at Blackburn, he recorded seven goals and 11 assists in the Championship (Stats via whoscored.com). It was an excellent performance in a difficult division, especially as a young player.
Elliott’s adaptability allows him to function effectively in a right-sided attacking position, which was the norm at Ewood Park.
Despite the fact that he lacks Salah’s explosive pace and dynamism, he has the natural ability to slide inside and provide room for Alexander-Arnold. This makes him a viable alternative in that situation.
Elliott is a young player who is still developing. So although there will undoubtedly be magical moments, there will also be growing pains.
As was the case with a teenage Steven Gerrard, frustrating performances are to be expected. But Liverpool have a special young talent who would already be a more established figure had injury not occurred.
Given his talent, there should be high hopes and excitement for him.
And while the Reds could yet use a new midfielder, they might already have a lethal secret weapon.