Harvey Elliott can be the answer to Liverpool’s quest for attacking reinforcements

‘Getting to the top is the easy part – staying there is the hard bit’. Do you know which philosopher said that? That’s right, Dolly Parton.

Obviously she didn’t really and it’s a quote that’s been attributed to thousands of people over the years, but it still rings true.

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Liverpool found that out to their cost last season as they were immediately knocked off their perch as champions of England, and Jurgen Klopp is now in the process of strengthening his squad before the Reds look to mount another title challenge.

With their defence bolstered following the return to fitness of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez – not to mention the arrival of Ibrahima Konate – the Liverpool boss’ attention has now turned to his midfield and forward department.

Bar the ever-prolific Mohamed Salah, Klopp’s frontline was the real Achilles heel in his side’s abject title defence, with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino notching a combined total of almost half the amount of Premier League goals they managed in the Reds’ triumphant 2019/20 campaign.

The impact made by Diogo Jota following his September arrival only served to emphasise Klopp’s need for additional attacking options, with the Portugal international contributing nine league goals despite a prolonged spell on the sidelines.

Jota’s goals earned the Reds an additional seven points across the 2020/21 Premier League season – without which they’d be in next season’s Europa Conference League – so it’s no surprise to see Klopp once again attempting to add to his attacking arsenal.

Harvey Elliott could enjoy a breakthrough campaign with Liverpool next season

Harvey Elliott could enjoy a breakthrough campaign with Liverpool next season / James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Names like Adama Traore, Federico Chiesa, Pedro Neto and Jarrod Bowen have all be touted as possible targets, but with Liverpool looking to work on a shoestring budget and the aforementioned players all likely to cost eye-watering sums, could the answer to Klopp’s dilemma be right under his nose?

Harvey Elliott has been tipped as a future star for a number of years now, despite still being just 18 years of age. But having made just nine senior appearances up until this point last year, such judgement seemed a little premature to say the least.

Since then the teenager has been shipped out on loan to Championship side Blackburn Rovers, where he became a key member of Tony Mowbray’s starting XI. The youngster thrived under the stewardship of the former Middlesbrough manager and were it not for his seven goals and 11 assists who knows how much closer to the drop Rovers could have finished.

Given he was only 17 when he secured a temporary move to the Lancashire club, naturally there were doubts cast over the move, with some speculating he would be chewed up and spat out by the rigours of a demanding 46-game season – but it was quite the opposite.

Jurgen Klopp is looking to strengthen his squad this summer

Jurgen Klopp is looking to strengthen his squad this summer / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Elliott stood up to be counted when his side needed him and, as we’ve already alluded to, Mowbray’s side could have been in a world of trouble were it not for the talented teenager’s input.

Elliott’s quality and courage to get on the ball and make things happen could never be questioned, though his discipline is one part of his game that will need to be trained if he is to make waves in Klopp’s first team.

At Blackburn the winger was basically given the freedom of the pitch and told to make things happen, and it’s this lack of shape and discipline which ultimately cost Rovers a shot at promotion – in fact they scored more goals than promoted side Watford.

Harvey Elliott has yet to really be handed a chance at Liverpool

Harvey Elliott has yet to really be handed a chance at Liverpool / Pool/Getty Images

If Elliott is to make it at Anfield he’ll have to show more maturity in his play and will need to work in the Liverpool system, but that’s far from a criticism, it’s simply a nod to a change in style he’ll have to adapt to if he is to impress on his return to the club.

Elliott’s ability to pick the ball up in the wide areas and drive at players is something we’ve seen on countless occasions over the past few years from the likes of Mane and Salah, while he’s also got an eye for goal and looks to make his way into the box wherever possible – something every Liverpool forward needs in their locker.

The player himself believes he’s ready. Speaking in an interview with 90min in May, Elliott said: “I feel more than ready. Going off this season, getting the minutes and knowing that I’m able to keep myself fit and healthy. I think if I’m able to do it now, I’m able to do it every season.

“My main goal is to get into the team. Then either, to sustain my spot in the team or, if I’m on the bench, then to be the ‘go-to’ person that they look at to come on and change the game.

“I just want to have an effect on the team, create and score goals and work hard.”

Some may say it’s a little early to engage in talk of the youngster breaking through at Liverpool, but Klopp has never shied away from taking a gamble on a player he believes he can develop and there’s no reason to believe he won’t do the same with Elliott.

Speaking about what Klopp said to him when he headed on loan, Elliott added: “He said ‘Look, just go out and show everyone who you are. Go and get these minutes. All of us will support you 100%’.

“He said, ‘Just go and play your way. Go and express yourself.’ It made me feel a lot better. Not that I was worried or scared to go out on loan, but it was just sort of the thought of what was going to happen when I came back to Liverpool.

“He said, ‘This will set your future up. Come back, work extra hard and show me that you’re ready.’”

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Author: XenBet

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