While some parts of Liverpool fandom are losing their minds over the midfielders we have injured, the club went and negotiated a new contract with one our most exciting young players in Harvey Elliott.
It’s a big show of confidence for a 19 year old with only 22 senior appearances so far, but the improved terms are a reward for his progress in his own development and a look ahead to the season where he might be called upon even more.
“It’s always nice to know that I’m going to be here for many more years, which is always a great thing with it being my boyhood club and there is nothing in this world that makes me more happy and more excited than this,” Elliott said in an interview for LFCTV.
“I feel like it’s, not more pressure on me, but it’s more of a situation where I’m sort of more of a first-team player in a way than last year because obviously [I was] coming back from loan and I didn’t play in the first season I joined as much as I have done in this past couple of years.
“So yeah, it feels more of a contract now and a first-team contract in terms of me and how it’s going to run in these next couple of years. I’m just very excited to keep putting on the shirt, to keep playing. I’m so excited and I just can’t wait to get out there again.”
With Thiago unfortunately out for the first six weeks of the season, Naby Keita still recovering from injury, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also out with a serious injury, it seems the path has opened up for Elliott to really get a run of matches under his belt and build his confidence with the senior men’s team. Finally a chance, after his first season was cut short through the ankle injury, and being on loan last season.
“The pressure of being a Liverpool player for starters – it’s one of the best clubs in the world, if not the best. So, people just assume that everyone is [a] world-class player, which they are. With that comes a lot of pressure. And, yeah, with the injury,” Elliott continued.
“Obviously I started off the season well and then the injury came, and I wasn’t really at my best. Just for me personally, I want to get back to my best. I want to make sure I can show the world and show Liverpool and everyone involved that I can still play and the injury has passed me and I’m feeling 100 per cent.
“It’s a big season, I’ve just got to make sure that if the opportunities come, I just need to take it and just enjoy it as well. The injury came and I was in a dark place and a bad place, so it’s just not taking those opportunities for granted and making sure I take them with both hands and perform to the best of my ability.”
It’s still early, but three years at Liverpool in the senior men’s team for a 19 year old is nothing to sniff at. And as for the rest of his career?
“Hopefully my career ends here. This is why I’ve come here, to be honest, just to make sure I establish myself in this team and play as much as I can for Liverpool. That’s all I want to do, I just want to put the shirt on, go out and play and just enjoy myself because at the end of the day I was playing in the back garden as a kid in a Liverpool shirt,” the midfielder said.
“[I was] scoring goals and pretending to be these players and now I’m playing with them. It’s memories I want to write myself and look back on in years to come and think, ‘Yeah, what a dream’ and happy that I’ve dreamt my dream and achieved it.”
That dream has been scoring in front of the Kop and contributing to trophies - experiences that are definitely likely to happen again. Even after last season’s failed quadruple push, there’s always this season, and next, and the one after that.
“You just want to keep having these celebrations. Obviously we won the Prem in COVID. As good as it was, it wasn’t the same to not be able to celebrate with the fans. For me, personally, it touched my heart just to go out and do it again in whatever competition it is – Community Shield, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, Premier League,” Elliott asserted.
“It’s all of us and we all want to win it. No matter how hard it gets throughout the season, how many games we have to play, we always want to go out and give it our best and give it back to the fans and celebrate these opportunities and these achievements with the fans, which we have done with the Carabao Cup and FA Cup – you see the parade at the end of last season. For us, we all said after, it’s motivation to go and do it again this season. We want to do it all and win it all again but it’s just down to us to make sure we work hard and be the best we can be and make sure we get in those positions that we can win stuff.”