Jurgen Klopp has reportedly pinpointed Harvey Elliott as the man to fill out-of-favour star Xherdan Shaqiri’s boots should the Switzerland international depart the club as expected this summer.
The 29-year-old announced his intention to part ways with the club – with the hierarchy’s blessing – naming Serie A outfit Lazio as his preferred destination.
“The same goes for Harvey Elliott, who looks certain to be kept after returning from a successful loan spell at Blackburn Rovers,” James Pearce wrote for The Athletic. “Xherdan Shaqiri wants to leave, with Lazio his destination of choice, and the manager believes the 18-year-old winger can fill that gap.”
Elliott surprised the naysayers last term playing for Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn Rovers side, registering a remarkable 18 goal contributions in the Championship.
Having experimented with the 18-year-old as an attacking midfielder in pre-season, a role the teenager has impressed in, it would appear that Klopp is playing with the idea of using him as a versatile option who can flit between the forward line and midfield.
Versatility is certainly a massive plus for the German and if the Fulham Academy graduate can demonstrate his abilities effectively across two different areas of the pitch he’ll certainly boost his chances of gaining more minutes in the coming season.
Realistically, Elliott’s level is beyond the Championship now, so a loan spell – unless with one of the emerging promoted sides (or higher up) – would be unhelpful.
As the deadwood is offloaded this summer, a chance has emerged for the youngster to showcase his talents and illustrate his readiness for the challenges of top-flight football.