Football Features

Can Harvey Elliott become a ‘world-class’ starter for Liverpool next season?

By Will Evans | Twenty3

Published: 7:56, 9 May 2024

Harvey Elliott is staking his claim for a regular starting berth at Liverpool next season.

The English midfielder put in an outstanding performance against Tottenham last Sunday — scoring and assisting in the 4-2 victory at Anfield.

But he has only made nine Premier League starts this term, so will be looking to increase that number in 2024/25.

Here’s why the Reds’ No.19 warrants more regular inclusion, when Arne Slot’s reign gets under way — if indeed he is the man to replace Jurgen Klopp.

Making an impact

Elliott has played just 1,180 minutes in the Premier League this season, but has certainly made the most of his opportunities.

The 21-year-old has scored three times and registered four assists, which averages out at a commendable 0.54 goal contributions per 90 minutes.

That record is even more impressive when you consider that he has been utilised in multiple roles across the campaign, as reflected in his minutes played by position map below.

And Klopp appeared to question his decision not to play Elliott more frequently, when speaking after the triumph over Tottenham.

He said: “Did Harvey Elliott play enough this season? I’m not sure.

“That’s up to me, it’s a little bit of moments like this and he was outstanding, outstanding and he has to be as dominant as he was today.”

Deserving credit

A goal and five assists in cup competitions has further boosted Elliott’s stock in 2023/24, but former Liverpool favourite Glen Johnson believes the 21-year-old doesn’t get enough credit.

In an interview with Squawka back in March, he said: “[In] the last few games, I think he’s been world class.

“He does the simple things very, very well, and people take that for granted.”

The former England international added: “Someone like [Luis] Diaz, of course they catch your eye. And [Darwin] Nunez, of course they get the limelight, and that’s fine.

“But I think there’s a lot of work that Harvey does that he doesn’t get credit for.”

That may well be the case when it comes to Elliott’s work without the ball — only Antony (1.66) and Kevin De Bruyne (1.54) have won possession in the attacking third more than his 1.45 regains per 90 minutes in the Premier League, among those with a minimum of 630 minutes played.

Creative instincts

Elliott’s underlying numbers reflect a player who is constantly looking to progress the ball into dangerous areas.

For starters, he has created an commendable 2.29 chances per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, which ranks just outside the division’s top 20 players for that metric (630 minutes minimum).

The former Blackburn Rovers loanee has also attempted (23.72) and completed (19.37) a notably high number of passes into the final third per 90.

But he is not afraid to shoot either, with an average of 3.51 shots per match putting him 12th among his Premier League peers.

With such impressive attacking attributes, more regular starts will surely be on the cards for Elliott next term.