Stewart Downing has now said that Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott is always being played out of position.
Speaking on the Football Daily podcast, Downing was assessing Liverpool’s latest defeat.
Off the back of their greatest win of the season against Manchester United, Jurgen Klopp’s side crashed back down to earth.
A first-half Philip Billing goal ended up settling the tie on the south coast in Saturday’s early kick-off.
After putting themselves back in contention to qualify for the Champions League, their 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth was a huge blow.
Jurgen Klopp has put more and more trust in his young players this season.
Stefan Bajcetic has gone from academy star to first-team regular in a matter of months.
Downing used to play alongside Harvey Elliott at Blackburn Rovers, but is worried about his current role at Liverpool.
The 19-year-old has quickly stepped up to the demands of playing for a top side since joining from Fulham.
But Jurgen Klopp might not get the best out of him while deploying him in midfield.
Downing thinks Elliott is playing out of position at Liverpool
Talking about the teenage sensation on the Football Daily podcast, Downing said: “I played with Harvey Elliott at Blackburn, and he played more off the right but he’s obviously going to find that difficult with Mo Salah in the way.
“He’s sort of found that position in the middle, but is he as disciplined as [Jordan] Henderson and Fabinho? He’s probably not, and looking more to go forward and I reckon they’ll probably target that area and just play off the back of him.
“Elliott’s not defensively-minded and he picked up a lot of space. He’s not a natural midfield player, I think he plays off the right, but it’s going to take some job moving Salah out of the way.”
The £40,000-a-week England under-21 international obviously has a huge future ahead of him.
Joe Cole has suggested that Elliott is already better than his midfield teammate Thiago Alcantara.
Elliott has surprised plenty of pundits too, but Stewart Downing thinks he could do even more at Liverpool.
He’s going to have to be very patient to ever regularly play on the right-wing for Jurgen Klopp.
Mohamed Salah is irreplaceable, and Elliott will likely need to wait for him to leave the club to get his chance in that role.