Harvey Elliott offered high praise to James Milner as something of an inspiration to him at Liverpool. The teenager plans to model his game on Milner.
It’s clear to see that Harvey Elliott has a lot of admiration for James Milner. They’re two players with something in common, after all, even if they’re at entirely different ends of their careers.
Milner, like Elliott, broke into the senior game very young. He was just 16 when making his debut for Leeds United in the Premier League – the second youngest ever at the time.
A little over a month later, Milner became the youngest Premier League goalscorer ever. That record stood for three years before being broken.
Elliott has made a similar impact. He played senior football at 15, debuting for Fulham in the EFL Cup back in 2019. The teenager then made his Premier League bow at just 16 years 30 days, giving him the youngest player record Milner once held.
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It’s no surprise, then, that Elliott looks at Milner as inspiration. In fact, he wants to model his game after the multiple title-winner.
Harvey Elliott on James Milner
“It’s just that you need to adapt yourself into positions and different positions, that you may not like, but if it’s going to keep your career going [you should do it],” he told the Ranks FC podcast.
“If you look at the likes of James Milner, he can literally play every single position on the pitch, and I think that’s what is keeping him going. Obviously, he’s a tremendous athlete as well.
“So I think just adapting to different positions, not moaning or sulking when you’re told to play in a position that you don’t really want to play.”
Elliott then went on to praise Milner specifically, comparing their careers and labelling his teammate an ‘icon’.
“Milly’s a legend, he’s helped me along the way. He’s helped all of us youngsters all the way,” said Elliott.
“He’s an icon at Liverpool, as well as in football.
“And he’s sort of been through what I’ve been through, making his debut at 16 as well. Being where he is now is where I want to be playing years on. He’s a legend.”
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Elliott truly appears to have a magnificent attitude for a player – or person – his age. He only turned 18 this year, yet he talks with a real understanding of his place in the game.
It goes some way to explaining how Elliott was able to perform so well over his debut senior season. He joined a completely new club, in a new league, at a new level and shone brightly. That’s far from easy but he was ready to learn and to adapt.
He couldn’t pick a better player to follow than Milner, either. Elliott isn’t looking for someone to copy, nor is he wanting to play like Milner. The teenager wants to follow his attitude to the game – and that’s perfect.
Milner is a fine example of someone who, while incredibly talented, learned to do what was necessary for the team. He guarantees himself a role every single year and usually a very important one.
And he’s done that at the top level for nearly 20 years.
If Elliott continues down this path, he’s going to fulfil his potential in a similar way. All the signs point to that right now.