Parker says LFC star he worked with was so technically brilliant he had to bring him into first-team despite being ‘underdeveloped’

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Scott Parker waxed lyrical about former protege Harvey Elliott, whom he handed a league debut to during his time at Fulham, lauding the youngster’s technical brilliance.

Such was the teenager’s ability in that department that the coach felt he needed to reward the midfielder with time in the first-team despite being ‘probably underdeveloped’ at the time.

“He was a fantastic player,” the Bournemouth boss told the Daily Echo.

“Obviously gave him his (league) debut, I think one of the youngest players to make his Premier League debut really.

“I saw the quality instantly when he came in with us really. He was a 15 or 16-year-old boy, straightaway brought him into the environment of the first team and you’re always conscious or worried to see how you go from youth football, where you’re always playing in your same age, you’re always referencing against people that are your same age.

“And then you come into men’s football, where obviously there’s experience, there’s age difference, there’s weights, there’s strength, there’s quality.

“As soon as Harvey came in, I could tell at that moment while he was probably underdeveloped, that technically his football brain and how he worked, he was able to survive really.”

We’ve seen the Cottagers’ Academy graduate similarly impress and defy expectations at Anfield, making the starting-XI for three out of the first four league games in 2021/22 before a serious ankle injury left him sidelined for over half of the campaign.

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Elliott, Parker
Harvey Elliott has been Liverpool’s standout performer of the 2022/23 season so far

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Elliott didn’t waste a moment on moping, however, showing the exact same level of commitment to his recovery (if not a smidgen more) to cut down his expected recovery time.

It’s that level of commitment that has seen the 19-year-old enjoy a similarly exciting start to the season, even if results haven’t yet reflected his contributions.

It goes without saying that the level of success we enjoy this year shouldn’t be dependent on the form of a teenager, though it certainly won’t harm matters if our No.19 can keep things up and nail down a first-XI spot regardless of when key men return from injury.

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