It would be a crime’: Pep Lijnders blown away by Liverpool 18-year-old in training ahead of EFL Cup tie with Arsenal
Assistant Liverpool manager, Pep Lijnders, says that Harvey Elliott has wasted no time in showcasing his talents in training as he returned to Kirkby for full team training for the first time since his ankle break in September.
The 18-year-old trained at the AXA Training Centre in Kirkby on Tuesday evening and the teenager impressed the Reds assistant manager with his football brain and made the coach wish he could throw him straight back into the action.
Elliott was just beginning to show the Premier League why Lijnders and Jurgen Klopp rate him so highly. He was starting ahead of Naby Keita in the Liverpool starting XI at his young age when he got injured.
During a 3-0 win over Leeds in early September last year, Elliott was challenged by Pascal Struijk and suffered a break just above his ankle that has seen him miss 29 games over 128 days.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com about Elliott, the assistant manager said: “Let me say it like this, he didn’t lose his football brain!
He shows immediately what he’s about. It would be a crime if you would not play him if he trains like this, but we know it’s just the start of his start with the team training. He needs time and we go step by step, of course.
Some players they never knock on the door, they run through it – and he’s one of them.”
Liverpool will be doing everything they can to make sure they don’t reinjure Elliott. There is a chance it happens on its own as the midfielder works his way into more intense scenarios ahead of his return to action.
That said, the 18-year-old is such a talented player with such great potential that they will be assessing his load and be making sure he’s not at risk of suffering an injury linked to fatigue or stress on the area of his ankle where the fracture occurred.