Premier League • England

Harvey Elliott reveals why Neymar is no longer his idol; labels Liverpool star a ‘proper baller’

Liverpool star Harvey Elliott

Harvey Elliott picked out two Liverpool stars it’s a “dream” to play alongside, and explained why he no longer looks up to Brazilian superstar Neymar.

Elliott, 18, has quickly thrust himself near the top of Jurgen Klopp’s selection thinking in his first full season in the first-team. The versatile attacker can play in midfield or in the front three, and that versatility has been utilised well by Klopp.

Indeed, prior to his gruesome ankle injury suffered against Leeds in September, Elliott had made the right midfield position his own.

Upon returning to full fitness in February he has had to be patient with regards to minutes. Nonetheless, he featured in the front three in the fourth and fifth rounds of the FA Cup and played again in the quarter-finals against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Injury aside, it’s been a wholly encouraging season for Elliott who has pushed far more senior stars onto the bench on multiple occasions.

And speaking in a New Balance YouTube series called Assumptions, Elliott showcased his growing maturity when explaining why he no longer looks up to Neymar.

“Neymar used to be my idol,” said Elliott. “To see the background where he came from and where he is now, it’s very inspirational.

“But I don’t really look up to anyone now in the game, to be honest. Now and in and around the team I want to be that figure people look up to.

“I look at players and take bits from their game to my game, but I want to be my own person. I want to play my own game, don’t want to base it off anyone else, and I want to be a figure who can inspire.”

Salah, TAA a “dream” to play with – Harvey Elliott

While Elliott clearly wants to blaze his own trail, he has no shortage of superstar names at Liverpool from which to draw inspiration from.

Given his role as a left-footed attacker, Mohamed Salah is the man Elliott is aspiring to one day displace. Nonetheless, Elliott was full of admiration for the Egyptian, and named Salah – alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold – as two players it’s a “dream” to play with.

“Mo Salah is the best player in the world in my opinion,” added Elliott.

“Who wouldn’t love playing with Mo Salah! Alongside Trent as well on the right side, it’s a dream for any youngster, yeah, to play alongside those two.”

Liverpool added further competition in the final third in the winter window when snapping up FC Porto’s Luis Diaz.

The Colombian has hit the ground running and if his early showings are anything to go by, his £37.5m fee already looks a true bargain.

When it was put to Elliott that Diaz is a “proper baller already”, Elliott laughed and said: “Yeah, I said it before, before he was even a Liverpool player.

“You could see how talented he is, but now he’s at Liverpool I’m sure he’s going to showcase just how good he is.”