Following Liverpool’s League Cup victory over MK Dons, Jürgen Klopp was eager to praise his young players in the game. Without any collective rhythm amongst the squad-heavy starting XI, the match was a frustrated affair against the League One side. But there was much to see from Liverpool’s youth during the course of the match.
Klopp singled out Caoimhin Kelleher for the young goalkeeper’s importance to the team. Kelleher made some solid saves and looked comfortable distributing the ball. The manager also dropped some kudos for Rhian Brewster and goalscorer Ki-Jana Hoever but it was Harvey Elliott who had Klopp piqued.
“Sixteen years old still, and this kind of football is good, really good for us,” said Klopp of Elliott.
“Brilliant boy, takes the situation really well, wants to learn.
“Tonight, he will always be a special player for moments, but his overall performance when you see him defending, when you see his movements, are so smart.
“It’s not easy to outplay him. That’s really, really good and his left foot is not too bad. A bit unlucky, otherwise he would have scored. Good player.”
Elliott had a couple of good chances to score, hitting the bar, but he also kept a sharp eye out for a pass to his teammates. We could be seeing a bit more of young Harvey in the near future. He’s probably at least earned himself a spot in the XI for the next round of the cup.
Klopp is clearly excited by all the players in his group of young Melwood starlets. With the season being fairly young itself, the manager’s hasn't had cause to employ his youth on the pitch until now. But the competitions are all picking up steam and Klopp will be looking for the right moments to include his young players.
“They are all good, we don’t have bad young players, to be honest. They are all really skilled, so that’s why it’s so important we can give them these matches. We will try to continue like this. We will see.”