Football News

Liverpool have a ‘Xavi or Iniesta type’ in Harvey Elliott, says Jason McAteer

By CJ Smith

Published: 18:01, 23 August 2020

Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott has what it takes to emulate Barcelona legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta, according to Jason McAteer.

The Premier League champions signed the 17-year-old from Fulham last summer but despite his tender age, Elliott has already made eight first-team appearances for the Reds, picking up UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup winners’ medals in the process.

Does Elliott have world class midfield potential? Five things to know…

  • Elliott made his senior club debut as a 15-year-old for Fulham in the EFL Cup in September 2018.
  • In the summer of 2019, the youngster was signed by then-European Champions Liverpool.
  • Elliott is the youngest-ever player to make a competitive start for Liverpool (16 years and 174 days).
  • He’s also the youngest player to start a Liverpool match at Anfield (16 years and 209 days) after lining up against Arsenal in the EFL Cup.
  • McAteer believes Elliott could emulate the likes of Barca legends Iniesta and Xavi and play through the middle.

Thus far, Elliott has enjoyed most of his minutes playing on the flanks but McAteer believes the England U-17 international’s ability to play with both feet, and split a defence with his passing, stands him in good stead to line-up through the middle.

In fact, McAteer rates him so much so that he believes Elliott could emulate Xavi and Iniesta, who made a combined 1,441 appearances during their Barcelona careers, lifting multiple La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey titles along the way while tasting international success with Spain.

“Obviously we have got Harvey Elliott – who is going to be an absolute superstar,” the former Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers man told Off The Ball.

“He’s 17… what an attitude, what a player. He’s playing wide at the minute but I can see him slotting into that midfield central area. Maybe as a Xavi or an Iniesta [type].

“If he develops the right way, he could be as good as one of those players. And that’s saying something. This kid has got the lot.”

He added: “[Elliott] can play with both feet. He has got that ability to see things, to open things up, to play that little killer pass.

“What I love about him is he never spends longer than four or five seconds on the ball. He knows what he is doing. He knows what he sees beforehand.

“His execution more often than not, is on point.

“They come around every once in a while. I had the privilege of playing with [Michael] Owen, the privilege of playing with [Robbie] Fowler. I saw [Wayne] Rooney at a young age being on Merseyside.

“I put him in that bracket. Absolutely.”