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Lånekollen: Harvey Elliott

Liverpools unga löfte lånades ut till Blackburn inför den här säsongen, något som slagit väl ut hittills. Jaquob Crooke(@JaquobC) bevakar Blackburn för @LiveLancs och han berättar här om hur Harvey Elliott presterat:

Harvey Elliott
Utlånad till: Blackburn Rovers i Championship.
Spelade matcher: 15 från start, ett inhopp.
Mål: 4
Assist: 5

1. Its been a few years since we saw Blackburn in the Premier League, tell us a bit about the club today?
Blackburn are very much a club back on the up after a few desolate years. The arrival of Tony Mowbray has helped to steady a sinking ship and after initially being relegated to League One in 2017, Blackburn won promotion back to the Championship the year after and have progressively been building since. They recruited well in the summer and boast an excellent Academy, key elements to a brighter future.

2. How would you describe the way you play this season?
It’s largely a possession-orientated system, so Blackburn look to dominate the ball against more inferior opponents but when they face teams with better quality, they press high and attempt to retrieve the ball high off the pitch to punish them. It’s completely different to the style they had at the start of last season where they hit long balls up to the target man and played direct. Tony Mowbray demands a high intensity from his players but in recent weeks, with a congested league schedule, it’s difficult to maintain that energy in every fixture.

3. In what role has Harvey Elliot been used?
Harvey has mainly been used as the right-sided forward of an attacking three alongside Adam Armstrong and Ben Brereton but he has sampled a variety of other positions. In a 4-3-3 formation, Mowbray has used him as a 10 in a midfield three and on Saturday he was utilised as a false nine, central of the attacking trio. His versatility has been a really useful asset so far this season.

4. How would you rate his performances so far?
He has been excellent. Honestly, it’s remarkable to think that he is only 17-years-old because he graces the pitch with incredible maturity. There was an expectation that because of his age, his standard of performances would drop but that’s not been the case. He’s been a key creator for Blackburn and his passing range is sublime. He can switch the play, drop dimes behind enemy lines and possesses the vision to pick out a run and land it accurately on their trajectory. And as he proved in the Norwich fixture, he is capable of beating defenders with ease.

5. According to you, what are his strengths and weaknesses?
His passing range is his biggest strength but his acute movement is an underrated aspect of his craft. His knowledge of the game, where to move and how to exploit spaces has been a crucial component to Rovers over the season. His weakness has sometimes been his decision-making, but that will improve with experience. Sometimes he is too selfless in the final third when really he has the opportunity to score himself.

6. Do you think he will be ready for Premier League next season?
I believe several Premier League clubs have already taken notice of Elliott and have enquired about his loan availability. It would be fair to say he could cut it in the Premier League but as far as his development goes, his stay with Blackburn will pay dividends in the future. It’s clear to see why Jürgen Klopp and his coaching staff rate him so highly.

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