Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott is close to regaining his spot in the starting XI.
Up until Liverpool’s draw with Chelsea earlier this month, Elliott had played some part in every one of the Reds’ matches this season. All told, that was 41 games on the spin. For a 19-year-old, that’s some going.
But having turned twenty in the meantime, Harvey has now sat out of Liverpool’s last three games. Asked for the reasoning behind this in his pre-Nottingham Forest press conference today, Klopp claimed that Elliott is still in ‘exceptional’ shape.
“He’s [Elliott] training exceptional. Fabio Carvalho is training exceptional to be honest, all the boys,” said the manager. “That’s the hardest part. Never had it the whole season, now all of a sudden we leave five players at home, it’s crazy. Nat, Rhys, crazy. Harvey is very, very close to start again.”
With games coming hot on the heels of each other over the next few weeks, it sounds like Elliott will be back soon.
Elliott makes huge steps
Whatever game time he gets for the rest of the campaign, this should be looked at as a very, very positive season for Elliott.
Of course, it hasn’t been at all a good one from Liverpool’s perspective generally. But to feature in every one of the Reds games up until the start of April really is phenomenal going.
The England U21 man hasn’t always had it easy – he’s deservedly come in for some stick at times. By and large though, he’s cemented his place as a fully-fledged member of Klopp’s squad.
As he looks to make those next steps, Elliott is only going to get even better. There a few kinks to iron out positionally, but once Liverpool find the perfect position for him, you get the impression he’ll flourish further.
As midfielders come through the door in anticipation of next season, we’ll get a better idea of where Klopp sees the 20-year-old long term. With others surely ahead of him in the pecking order in midfield, perhaps we’ll see him more as the wide forward he always appeared to be.
Wherever he ends up playing, you can count on Elliott to do a proper job for the team. Not one to slack off or mope around, it’s good to hear he’s still putting in the hard yards at the AXA Training Centre.