Harvey Elliott has been widely regarded as one of England’s top prospects for three years now. He made his professional debut as a substitute for Fulham in their away win against Millwall back in 2018 – then merely 15 years and 174 days old. In doing so, he became not only the youngest first-team player in Fulham’s history but also in the EFL Cup’s history.
It is no surprise, then, that he soon drew the attention of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and made his way up the country to join him in Merseyside. Quite simply, Elliott has a very bright future ahead of him.
At the weekend, he was the hot topic of Liverpool’s friendly game against Spanish side Athletic Bilbao. The reason for this was simple: Elliott’s performance was a mature, dominant display far beyond his age of 18. Additionally, he was playing in an alien position (central midfield) – one which he has never been known for playing. Here’s what we gained from the pre-season friendly.
A Bright Future Ahead for Harvey Elliott
What the Bilbao Friendly Told Us
The match between Liverpool and Athletic Bilbao was, of course, just a friendly. However, it might have been something slightly more. In the game, Harvey Elliot started in an unusual central midfield position. Traditionally, throughout his short career – which has featured a highly impressive loan spell at Championship side Blackburn Rovers – he has occupied positions out wide; making use of his pace and unrelenting stamina to demolish full-backs.
Not anymore, as Klopp clearly sees something special in Elliott’s midfield ability. Speaking to the Liverpool ECHO after the game, the boss said: “In pre-season, we wanted to see him in a deeper role because, as a young player, you have to learn a lot of things, when you are a bit more outside you get the ball from time to time and we wanted him to be a bit more involved.
“He made a big step this pre-season. If Harvey stays fit then the football world can be really excited.”
Clearly, Klopp will attempt to utilize Elliott in this role in the future. Much has been said of Liverpool’s failure (so far) to sign a fitting replacement for Gini Wijnaldum, who departed the Kop on a free transfer this summer. With this position currently free, Elliott has a very real opportunity to secure some first-team games this season.
With his performance against Bilbao – a dominant display that saw him hit the post, consistently frustrate the opposition and never stop running – there is now a growing argument to include him in next week’s season opener, away to Norwich City.
Should he remain fit and begin getting some games under his belt this season, Elliott might very well be the young player to watch in not only the Premier League but in world football.