Former QPR U11 coach Scott Chickelday has told a great story about the first time he saw Harvey Elliott on a football field.
The playmaker is still only 17-years-old, but is already a regular in the Championship and has more assists than any other player in the second tier of English football – which is frankly remarkable.
Liverpool will welcome him back from Blackburn Rovers in the summer as an option for our bench, we reckon, most likely in place of Xherdan Shaqiri.
‘He (Elliott) was playing left-back,’ Chickelday tells First Time Finish. ‘He was the smallest kid on the pitch playing a year up and I got told to take a look at him.’
‘In that game I wasn’t convinced. He was steady but at that stage I suggested to the academy manager that maybe he should play with his own age. He told me to take a look at him in training first.’
Chickelday though went the next day and saw him at closer quarters, and well dumbstruck!
‘I got there 35 minutes before the session and Harvey was already there,’ he says.
‘We did one vs one and two vs twos, and he absolutely obliterated the session. From that point I was like wow. This kid can play. Why was he playing left-back?’
Elliott reminds us of a Jack Grealish, or Phil Foden type player. He isn’t blessed with frightening pace, so will play the pass rather than chase it in behind – but oozes confidence on the ball and has such vision and technical ability that he can play a number of positions in attacking midfield.
For Liverpool, his most natural role would likely be on the right, as an inverted playmaker. Maybe in the future with Mo Salah moving to centre-forward, this would become a natural fit.