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106 touches & all-around skill: Harvey Elliott shines v Chelsea

Harvey Elliott caught the eye for Liverpool in their 1-1 draw v Chelsea on Saturday. The teenager looks like something special.

Harvey Elliott lined up against Chelsea for the biggest game of his career so far. Jurgen Klopp showed an incredible amount of faith in the 18-year-old, starting him over Thiago, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

That would be a story anyway, let alone in a massive game like this. It was the truest sign yet that Liverpool believe they have a diamond on their hands.

But then, Klopp has already said that the ‘football world’ should be excited about Elliott – not just Liverpool. And his performance at Anfield certainly backed that up.

Harvey Elliott v Chelsea

One thing stands out about Elliott’s performance above all – he had 106 touches. Only Trent Alexander-Arnold had more 110).

Now, on the one hand, that shows how much Liverpool played down their right flank. On the other, it shows the confidence the team has in Elliott.

They’re more than happy to involve the 18-year-old and he’s constantly willing to have the ball. It’s a confidence and attitude that few young players show – yes he’s young, yes he’s inexperienced but Elliott will back himself like a senior star.

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He did well with the ball, too. Elliott finished with an 87% pass completion, which was identical to Fabinho and Jordan Henderson. He created a chance, too, as well as winning a tackle and two interceptions.

It was a consistent, all-around performance and that’s not something you can really ask of a teenager. The fact that Elliott can do it in a huge game on his second start says an awful lot.

As does the fact that Elliott wasn’t dribbled past once, nor was he tackled. He wasn’t a weak-link at all and Chelsea weren’t able to get at him.

If this is the minimum for Elliott, then Liverpool truly have a diamond. It should only be upwards from here, after all, as he gains even more confidence and know-how.

Elliott already looks like a reliable member of the squad. To be saying that already is remarkable and sets him up for an incredible future.

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