A transfer decision made by Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool that drew criticism has been emphatically vindicated by two pundits.
Liverpool have kept their powder relatively dry with regards to the transfer window this summer. While their title rivals have been busy splashing the cash and breaking club records, the Reds have thus far been content with a single acquisition.
Ibrahima Konate arrived for £36m from RB Leipzig and is yet to make his Premier League debut. A signing at centre-half always appeared likely going into the summer, though another seemingly straight forward piece of business is yet to materialise.
The departure of Georginio Wijnaldum left Reds fans wondering who would be drafted in to replace the dependable Dutchman.
Names from the Premier League and across Europe were linked. However, with the window closing in just over a week, all the signs point to Liverpool keeping their chequebook firmly closed.
Instead, the likes of Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott look set to be given ample opportunities to shine. That led to a fierce Klopp clash with the Athletic’s Liverpool specialist, James Pearce, regarding their inaction over midfield signings.
Nevertheless, Elliot impressed when handed a start against Burnley on Saturday. The 18-year-old looked lively deployed in a midfield role and linked the play between defence and attack well.
Harvey Elliott vs Burnley
• 83% passing
• 44/53 passes
• 3 chances created (3rd)
• 76 touches (2nd)
• 2 shots
• 1/2 aerial duels
• 1 interception
Had a brilliant assist ruled out for offside too. Absolutely superb full Premier League debut pic.twitter.com/lBITX7fsUb
— LFC Stats (@LFCData) August 21, 2021
And speaking to BT Sport in the aftermath of the victory, ex-Liverpool attacker Joe Cole vindicated Klopp and Liverpool’s decision to resist the urge to splash the cash.
“I think Klopp will lean on him [Eliott] and will have influence on the season,” said Cole (via the Mirror). “He played with so much maturity.
“It was more his quality on the ball that impressed me.”
Fellow BT pundit Peter Crouch echoed those sentiments after claiming Elliott’s performance displayed maturity beyond his years.
Initially speaking about the benefits of loan spells, Crouch said: “I’m a big advocate of it [loan spells]. It benefited me so much,” Crouch said on BT Sport.
“He’s got games, he’s an 18-year-old kid, it was his debut today, [it] looked as if he made 100.
“He went on loan at Blackburn and got a lot more confidence. For that to go under the radar, can’t pay him a higher compliment. He’s not shied away from getting the ball, he’s going to be a big part.
“He looks a confident young man, he has every right to start the next game.”
Klopp blown away by “sensational” Eliott
In the post-match fallout, Klopp could barely contain his glee when speaking of Elliot’s impact in the 2-0 victory.
“He’s good eh? He’s a wonderful talent,” he told BBC Sport.
“I have known him for three years – he has always been a sensational talent but he made big steps last season on loan – really calm, really smart – he can play 3/4 different positions.”
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