Harvey Elliott is the player Jürgen Klopp expected when he signed Thiago Alcantara for Liverpool
Former Reds forward Joe Cole believes this. Cole told BT Sport before Liverpool’s game against Bournemouth today that Elliott possesses all of the traits that Klopp sought in Thiago.
“When Thiago came in, Jurgen Klopp was clearly thinking, ‘I’m going to try to introduce some quality, someone who can do what Harvey does, get in behind sometimes, not all the time, get on the ball, and be good in tight spaces.'” “I believe Harvey is evolving into the player that Jürgen Klopp expected Thiago to be,” the pundit stated.
“Thiago is brilliant in his own way, but I believe Jurgen Klopp has been astonished by his [Elliott’s] progress and how quickly he’s improving on that trajectory.”
Elliott is Liverpool’s sole player who has appeared in every game this season. There are 39 in total. With this in mind, Cole believes a call-up to the England squad isn’t too far away for the 19-year-old.
“When England is announced next week, he won’t be far behind. He’s a regular for Liverpool,” he explained.
Klopp got the variety he desired.
On the surface, this appears to be the type of exaggeration we’ve come to expect from analysts discussing young English talent.
To be fair to Cole, he could have a point. That isn’t to imply Elliott is superior to Thiago; he isn’t. They are, however, not a million miles apart in terms of playing profile.
Prior to the signing of Thiago, Liverpool’s midfield was characterized by workmanlike players. The combination of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, and Gini Wijnaldum remains the pattern for Klopp’s Reds’ ideal midfield. The manager was certainly aiming to add something unusual by signing the Spaniard from Bayern Munich in 2020.
Thiago and Elliott are not the same player, despite some resemblance. Harvey is more forward-thinking and more likely to contribute goals and assists. Nevertheless, the Spaniard epitomizes the deep-lying playmaker. Nonetheless, they are obviously a step above from the likes of Wijnaldum and Henderson.
Therefore, perhaps what Cole meant is that Elliott is simply providing the distinction that Klopp desired. We’d still argue that Thiago has done a fantastic job of adding that. But it’s fantastic to see Harvey getting credit for some outstanding recent performances.