No pressure son! Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott is compared to Barcelona greats Xavi and Andres Iniesta by ex-Red Jason McAteer… who insists 18-year-old is a ‘sensational’ prospect that could make Jurgen Klopp’s first team
Jason McAteer has piled the pressure on young Liverpool gun Harvey Elliott by comparing him to Barcelona legends Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta.
Elliott has long been singled out for stardom at Anfield since joining from Fulham in 2019. He became the youngest player ever to play in Premier League match in the same year aged just 16 years and 30 days.
The 18-year-old went on loan to Blackburn last season and excelled, scoring seven goals and providing 11 assists.
Jason McAteer (right) has called Liverpool’s 18-year-old star Harvey Elliott (left) ‘sensational’
McAteer compared Elliott to Barcelona greats Xavi Hernandez (left) and Andres Iniesta (right)
Elliott’s performances earned him a recall to Jurgen Klopp’s senior squad for the coming season and he produced an eye-catching display in Liverpool’s 4-3 pre-season friendly loss to Hertha Berlin on Thursday.
Among those who were impressed was McAteer, who immediately compared Elliott to two of the greatest midfielders in recent times.
‘I’m a big fan from the minute I saw him (Elliott),’ McAteer told LFC TV. ‘I saw him in a pre-season friendly in Switzerland, his pass appreciation, his touch. He was sensational.
Elliott put in an impressive display in Liverpool’s 4-3 pre-season friendly loss to Hertha Berlin
McAteer said Elliott can ‘see a pass’ and is ‘comfortable on the ball’ like the two Barca legends
‘His best position is a million dollar question. For me I do see – and these are big names coming out – I do see Xavi and Iniesta in him. I see Thiago as well, that kind of player developing.
‘When I say that, I see a player who can see a pass, is comfortable on the ball – he’ll have it in a phone box. He always wants to get on it, his head’s on a swivel always looking around but he can execute.’
McAteer, who also previously played for Blackburn, said Elliott’s spell at Ewood Park last season was crucial to his development.
‘I think it was key for him to go out on loan,’ he said. ‘He looks a bit stockier. He’s come back from Blackburn, probably learnt a lot. He looked comfortable. That will stand him in good stead to come back because he has that experience.’
Elliott had a fantastic loan spell at Blackburn last season, with seven goals and 11 assists
Elliott with Sadio Mane (left) in training. McAteer said making the Reds first team will be tough
Despite much excitement around Liverpool’s new teenage sensation, Elliott has a lot of work ahead of him to find a way into Klopp’s starting midfield.
While Georginio Wijnaldum has departed for Paris Saint-Germain, Fabinho and club captain Jordan Henderson are the likely starters in the centre of the pitch. But McAteer suggested that Elliott is in with a chance.
‘He’s going to have to find a way into this team either side or higher up and is he gonna get (Sadio) Mane or (Mohamed) Salah out of the picture? Not in the near future.
‘He might get one of them midfield positions left or right of Fabinho but that’s maybe a little while yet. But he’s moving in the right direction, he could be a little superstar.’