When Harvey Elliott started for Liverpool against Southampton on Tuesday night, it was the 18-year-old’s first appearance for the Reds since the FA Cup victory over Norwich at the beginning of March.
Prior to the trip to Saint Mary’s, the ex-Fulham man hadn’t even been included in the matchday squad for our last three games which is rather surprising when you consider at the start of the season, the teenager looked set to have a starring role for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
He did suffer a nasty ankle injury against Leeds United on just the fourth day of the season which therefore affected his playing time for a number of months, and after putting in a decent performance on the south coast, he discussed how he’s coped with the injury and wanting to continue his development next season.
“It was nice to get back out there again in the Premier League, get some minutes and obviously I know I needed to keep myself fresh. I obviously had a terrible injury and I knew I didn’t need to rush anything,” he said (as quoted by Anfield Watch).
“I just needed to keep myself fit and like you’ve seen today I needed to make sure I can get through the minutes I play. That is all I have focused on really.
“We’ve got a great squad with great players and to get out there and start again is a lovely feeling, just to put the Liverpool shirt back on and play 60 minutes. Hopefully I can get more minutes down the line, but we’ll see.“
He is certainly one of the best young talents in the country.
At the start of the campaign, he’d began three of our first four league games and was looking like a seasoned professional.
Then that unfortunate injury came at Elland Road and he didn’t feature until February and our FA Cup win over Cardiff at Anfield.
He made a goalscoring return against the Welsh outfit and also featured as a substitute and scored in the penalty shootout during our League Cup victory over Chelsea at Wembley.
This season may not have gone to plan for the England u21 international, but he’ll be hungrier than ever to have a big pre-season and push on under Klopp next season.