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Peas in a Pod: Brief Reflections on Mo Salah and Harvey Elliott

The two attackers have been joined at the hip since Elliott broke into the Liverpool squad. Their relationship and understanding shows on the pitch.

Liverpool FC v LASK: Group E - UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Photo by Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

When Harvey Elliott was brought into Liverpool after breaking through to Fulham’s senior level, many were excited about the prodigious talent. His ability to carry the ball forward, shifting his weight and showing excellent balance, before flashing the scoring touch with his left-foot. Given these descriptions, one would be forgiven in thinking that he’d maybe been pegged to be the replacement for another winger: Mohamed Salah.

In time, though, Elliott found his opening and place in the team as a central midfielder operating ahead of the 6 in the right channel. What’s been interesting, then, has been to see how the young player has evolved into a talented young player that seems to be coming into their own in a role that’s quite different from the one most thought he naturally fell into.

What’s more, an interesting piece in seeing the young attacking midfielder find his groove is his close relationship with winger some thought he’d replace.

Mo Salah’s close influence over Harvey Elliott was apparent in little pieces as the young attacker started being called into the fringes of the first team. There were training shots that showed the two talking often, behind-the-scenes videos that had Mo mentioning casually to Harvey to mind his diet, and then little moments in Elliott’s own interviews where he credits Mo with giving him tips and dispensing wisdom on how to maintain yourself physically in order to achieve a long career.

What’s striking here is two things: the patience and obvious leader mentality that oozes from someone like Salah. A superstar in his own right, he doesn’t need to spend time tutoring an upstart like Elliott. Especially not one that some might have called his competition. For Elliott’s part, a similar humility can be found in his willingness to soak up every ounce of information and to learn from a player of Salah’s quality. It’s clear that the two have a connection that is born out of similar natures and a true drive to be among the best at this sport.

This connection has translated into both players working with a shared, unspoken understanding on the pitch. Often, when either Mo or Harvey make themselves available for the other to receive a pass, they don’t have to look up to know where to send the ball. There is a clear knowledge between the two as to what spaces the other likes to occupy. And, like a great improv partner, the other works their way into complementary spaces to retain, recycle, or progress.

On the weekend, with Harvey Elliott scoring the winner, it felt a bit poetic to know it happened in the same match that Mo Salah nabbed his 200th Liverpool goal. A goal necessary to equalize the match and to give Elliott the chance to be the hero. Not content to leave his lessons off the field, it seems Mo wanted to offer up a platform to let his apprentice shine.

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