Harvey Elliott is “not ready” to be playing as regularly as he is for Liverpool despite his “wonderful talent”, according to a pundit who would love to see a superstar arrival in his position.
Liverpool’s midfield has been under scrutiny in recent months – and it will be next year, too. Some injuries in the position prompted the club to sign Arthur Melo on loan from Juventus on deadline day.
There have already been a few questions asked as to whether Arthur was the right player to bring in. But it won’t just be the Brazilian facing an uncertain future when Liverpool weigh up their midfield options in 2023.
James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out of contract at the end of the season. By that time, Thiago Alcantara will be about to enter the final year of his own deal too.
The uncertainty has prompted speculation that Liverpool could be back in the market for a midfielder in the new year. In that case, all eyes will be on whether they can win the race for Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham.
Any such pursuit would raise questions of how Liverpool’s existing prospects would be affected. For example, Harvey Elliott has been featuring frequently this season and looks a real talent.
The 19-year-old already has 29 appearances to his name for the Liverpool first team. Hence, they will have to be careful not to block his pathway.
However, pundit Frank McAvennie believes that despite Elliott’s quality, he might be being overused. The former West Ham and Celtic striker has claimed Liverpool miss Thiago Alcantara more, for whom Bellingham would be an ideal partner.
Asked about the club’s midfield activity, McAvennie told Football Insider: “I think Liverpool are happy with what they’ve got, even though they are not getting a game all the time.
“They’re bringing players in all the time. Elliott, what a player, but he’s not ready for the Premier League yet. He’s ready for a game here and there but he’s playing all the time and it’s showing.
Harvey Elliott a talent, but Thiago more important
“He’s a wonderful talent but it shows how much they miss Thiago, great player, absolutely wonderful. He’s injury prone but when he plays he pulls the strings, my god.
“I’d love to see him and Jude Bellingham in the same team. That would be worth the admission fee, that’s for sure.”
That said, signing Bellingham will not come cheap. And when Liverpool already have a young talent to work with like Elliott, they will have to weigh up the pros and cons of such an investment.
For now, all they can focus on is nurturing Elliott’s potential. In Jurgen Klopp, they have a good coach to bring the best out of him.
But perhaps McAvennie has something of a point. They cannot necessarily rely on him week in, week out, without seeing him lose some sharpness.
With a contract until 2027, there is plenty of time ahead for Elliott to develop. Undoubtedly, though, he can contribute for them now.
With his unique qualities compared to the rest of the department, Elliott can bring excitement to the Liverpool midfield. But patience might be required for him to reach his absolute peak.