There were several young players that caught the eye at Liverpool this season. Curtis Jones, Neco Williams and Caoimhín Kelleher stand out but Harvey Elliott is the one who created the most buzz.
Elliott was 16-years-old when he arrived at Melwood but his talent and work ethic have revealed a player with loads of world class potential.
Pep Lijnders recently conducted a video interview with Harvey for the club’s official site to discuss the young player’s experience at Liverpool and what he hope to achieve. Early on, Pep recalled a shared moment with Jürgen Klopp after Harvey’s first training session.
“I remember coming back into Melwood,” said Lijnders, “and me and Jürgen were sitting and said, “Wow that’s impressive for a 16-year-old. Because normally when we do the counter press rondo that we did that day you see straight away if a player can handle the speed, the decision making, because it’s such a short space.”
Elliott described developing his skills at an even earlier age while playing rondos in cages and always competing against older boys.
Pep asked Harvey to explain Jürgen Klopp in one sentence.
“Any players dream to play under,” said Elliott, to Pep’s delight, before expounding further on Klopp.
“You’re first sentence was the best I ever heard,” Pep said. “You cannot get a bigger compliment as a coach.”
Can you describe Mohamed Salah in one word?
“King,” Harvey said.
“Because of his style of play and who he is on and off the pitch. I idolize him a lot and to be going up against him in training I’ve learned a lot of things from him. And even in the gym, he’s telling me to do a higher weight, to push myself even more. so to have him in the club and around us young player he’s a really big influence.”
At this point Classic Lijnders arrives with a big speech about the club’s philosophy. He begins:
“This is also what we wanted to create,” said Pep, “this situation where big talents from England and outside of England are together in a small squad. We wanted to create this situation where we can learn constantly from each other because it’s the best way to teach. There’s a good saying that talent doesn’t need criticism, it needs models. And we really believe in that.”
Elliott goes on to say that his professional heroes in the dressing room are James Milner and Adam Lallana for their commitment and that becoming a Steven Gerrard-esque legend at the club motivates him to become an even better player.
This kid is going to be a fantastic player. He has the right attitude, responds well to training, learns from Mohamed Salah every day, playing for maybe the two best coaches for young players in Klopp and Lijnders. Bring on the future.