Liverpool look like they have a star in the making in young Harvey Elliott. The 17 year old is currently tied for the league lead in assists in the Championship while on loan at Blackburn. He’s also chipped in four goals for good measure, and has quickly been entrusted as the creative hub for his team.
While Elliott spent his first season training with Liverpool’s first team last year before going out on loan this season, Liverpool and Elliott’s boyhood club, Fulham, still have not agreed on a fee for the player. After a year and a half, the two clubs are miles apart on what they believe to be a fair fee, according to The Athletic. Liverpool feel a fee in the region of £750,000 should suffice, while Fulham feel they deserve £10 million for bringing the player through the developmental ranks.
Because the teams are so far apart on their valuations, a tribunal will now decide what the fee will be on Tuesday. This isn’t the first time Liverpool have gone down this path. The Reds were told to pay Burnley £8 million by a tribunal for Danny Ings almost a year after the player moved to Liverpool. A fee for Dominic Solanke was finally agreed to between Liverpool and Chelsea, avoiding a tribunal after a year of back and forth between the teams.
Harvey Elliott is a little bit of a different case. Elliott became the youngest player to make a senior team appearance for Fulham at the tender age of 15. He then became the youngest player ever to make a Premier League appearance, stepping on the field for the Cottagers at 16 years and 30 days old.
To make Liverpool’s valuation of Elliott even more laughable is the fact that the Reds just finalized a fee with Derby for 16 year old Kaide Gordon. The fee for the highly rated player is rumored to be £1 million, rising to £3 million. Gordon made his first senior team appearance this season, a full year older than when Elliott made his senior debut, and Gordon’s was in the Championship. Of course, the fee is supposed to be based on what Elliott accomplished prior to his move to Liverpool, as well as expenses related to his training over time at Fulham, so the £10 million seems to be a but steep.
With Brexit now in place, young talent from the UK will be even more at a premium. Whatever the tribunal rules, it will have a ripple effect across the academy landscape. With so many lower level sides struggling financially, a low fee for Elliott could signal that it is not worth their while to make significant investments into the youth academies. A large fee could put the power with sides investing in their youth academies, and potentially make top tier sides think twice when pursuing precocious talents. Whatever the case, it seems we’ll find out tomorrow.