Harvey Elliott: Shaping Liverpool’s Future Midfield Dynamic

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Harvey Elliott: Liverpool’s Emerging Star – Future Under New Management Explored

Super Sub Phenomenon and Historical Context

The infamous tag of super sub can sometimes monopolize the impact of a top-level footballer. If anyone ever mentioned the career of Ole Gunnar Solskjær, I would immediately recall his tremendous stint as Manchester United’s manager (I miss him at the wheel), whereas his on pitch exploits often have me remembering him as a brilliant off the bench game changer. In varying sports, the use of those on the sidelines are seen as vital to the result, when patterns of play require adjustments, whilst alteration in personnel can circumvent fatigue and diminishing form.

Harvey Elliott’s Rise at Liverpool

At just 20-years of age, I would imagine that Harvey Elliott is delighted with his career trajectory thus far, especially given that he is now a valued member of the Liverpool first team squad, a club he supports. As soon as the regeneration began last summer, it ensured a raft of senior and regression heavy players departed Anfield. Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Naby Keïta, and Roberto Firmino, all left Merseyside in the summer of 2023, which is something that enabled the recruitment team to usher in Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endō, and Ryan Gravenberch. The first three players (on that list) have made great strides since their arrival, as their abilities and experience at the top level have enabled more energy and dynamism in midfield. Though Pepijn Lijnders clearly has an affection for the former Bayern Munich man, Ryan Gravenberch, his own tenure has been far less inspiring and his long-term suitability is very much in doubt. I suspect that his part in the Liverpool v2.0 is now in the balance, whereas the future of his teammate, Harvey Elliott, appears much more promising.

Elliott’s Impact and Versatility

Being able to consistently impact games is vital to success, as Premier League title chasers can ill afford too many dropped points across a season. Though the former Fulham academy graduate may not suit the three-man midfield that commonly starts games (this season), his infectious energy and desire is the perfect combination for games that become a grind. An ability to alter the status quo and offer unpredictable play is a wonderful asset, one that is being used to its benefit so much this year.

Photo: IMAGO

Potential Fit in Xabi Alonso’s Tactical Vision

It may not happen of course, but the consensus is that Xabi Alonso is the man most likely to replace the outgoing Jürgen Klopp, after the end of this fascinating campaign. Both high profile coaches are at either ends of their respective managerial careers, whereas each one remains proudly at the summit of their footballing divisions. I suspect that after the passionate reign of the current reds boss ends, the reds 56-year-old boss will drop down from his current elite status, hopefully taking on a far less intense job.

The Germany role would enable a less demanding schedule, whereas a move to somewhere like Real Madrid may be something that he could enjoy, by not taking the political hotbed too seriously. In elite level management, many Premier League positions appear to be relentless and all consuming. Boundless energy and unrivaled enthusiasm have encapsulated the Anfield careers of both Klopp and a young man he so often calls upon, Harvey Elliott.

Given the obvious character and technical attributes, the left footed and impactful asset may well see his stature elevated more so, under the muted stewardship of Liverpool’s former controlling midfielder.

Elliott’s Role in Alonso’s System

In a 3-4–2-1 system of play, the two three attacking assets that the 42-year-old utilises, are comprised of two floating assets behind a central striker. In that central role, you could absolutely see both Darwin Núñez and Diogo Jota flourishing as the top of the red spear, whereas Mohammed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai, Cody Gakpo, Luis Díaz, and Harvey Elliott, would offer superb variety in those more withdrawn and creative roles. It would not surprise me if the 5ft 7inch ball of energy were to leapfrog his way into a strong rotation role next year, with one of those above being moved on.

Neither the central midfield nor wide forward roles garner the best attributes of the Chertsey born player, however, the system requirements under the current Bayer Leverkusen coach, could see a more common starting role a true possibility. With intricacy and tenacity, a less physical demeanour would not have him routinely outmuscled by either rampaging midfielders or strapping defenders so frequently. His lack of genuine pace and acceleration requires a more measured approach, which is something he would revel within, as a number ten in between the opposition lines.

Elliott’s Role in Alonso’s System

The future is so very bright for the fanbase, which is remarkable considering Liverpool are about to lose their greatest modern-day manager. These next few months (for the players) must be an about imprinting their performances within the minds of the next head coach. Whether or not there is a list of one or three managers in the candidacy frame, you can be assured that anyone that has been modern-day even gently approached, will be watching each LFC game with intent. Some players that are regressing and some that are not up to the task, will be well known before any new manager arrives, which is why I believe the current impact of Harvey Elliott is something that is not just vital for this season, but also those that follow.

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