Jamie Redknapp has said that he was impressed by Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott’s performance in Tuesday’s EFL Cup clash with Aston Villa.
With the majority of Liverpool’s talent in Qatar ahead of their Club World Cup opener against Monterrey on Wednesday, the Reds were forced to field a side with an average age of 19 for the quarter-final at Villa Park.
The youthful Reds side looked solid for the opening 10 minutes but eventually fell to a 5-0 defeat, although Under-23’s boss Neil Critchley – who was in the dugout – said that he was impressed with how the team performed.
Speaking on Sky Sports‘ coverage of the match, Redknapp followed suit, picking out 16-year-old Elliott as one player who particularly impressed.
“Harvey Elliott – we were watching him and he’s 16 years of age. From minute one he was trying to get on the ball. He looked the real deal,” the pundit said.
“There were a couple of the things he did but there was one or two passes but I don’t know why, some left footers are gifted with.
‘The way [Liverpool’s first team] play with a midfield three, is he a box-to-box like [Georginio] Wijnaldum? Probably not. But it beggars belief how he played tonight. He didn’t get fatigued by the end of the game.”
“They looked so composed, it’s never looked a 4-0 game. For 10-15 minutes Liverpool looked great – they looked like the home team!”
Meanwhile, Critchley revealed in his post-match press conference that Reds boss Jurgen Klopp – speaking from Qatar – told the players at Villa Park to “keep being brave” as they went into half-time 4-0 down.
Critchley said: “We had some information at half-time from the manager. It was to keep playing the way we were playing, keep being brave.
“He was out there watching with staff and players, and I’m sure he’ll be proud of the way we played.
“This is what has been decided by the club as the best solution, and try telling those players this has been a bad [experience] for them.
“Maybe one or two of our players will be sneaking off on a plane joining the first-team group in Qatar.”
Liverpool‘s match against Monterrey is followed by either the Club World Cup final or a third-place play-off clash – both of which will be played on Saturday.