Liverpool £150m star speaks on his starting for Klopp in next game

 Harvey Elliott is relishing the competition for places at Liverpool following an £150m midfield revamp this summer.

Liverpool £150m star speaks on his starting for Klopp in next game

The 20-year-old has made 16 appearances for the Reds so far this season, but has only started once in the Premier League after Jurgen Klopp brought in Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch in the summer.

Along with the new quartet, Elliott is also vying with Curtis Jones for starting opportunities, while Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic will enhance the competition further when the two Spaniards return from long-term injury.

Having endured a transitional campaign last year with an ageing squad, Liverpool limped to a fifth-place finish in the Premier League. Yet, bolstered by their new engine-room, they currently sit second in the table and have the opportunity to leapfrog Manchester City and take top spot when they travel to the Etihad on Saturday.

A boyhood Reds fan, Elliott is delighted by the impact Klopp’s new signings are having at Anfield. And rather than being frustrated at his limited starting opportunities, he is actually enjoying the new competition for places.

“Yeah, (they’ve helped me) massively. These lads have come in and hit the ground running and it's healthy competition now,” he told reporters when speaking after scoring a brace for England Under-21s against Northern Ireland. “We’re all striving towards the same goal, which is winning trophies.

“It’s healthy competition within the squad, which is what we want. Every time someone else plays or I play, the support around me is unbelievable from these lads and I do the same for them as well.

“We're a team at the end of the day. You can't be frustrated that you're not playing. You just need to stay patient and when you get your opportunity, you need to take it.

“These boys who have come in, you can see the quality they have, hence why they've been bought for a lot of money and why they've signed for Liverpool - the best club in the world.

“We're going to attract the best players as well. For me to be learning off them is great.”

Competition for places could be even greater at Anfield next season if Elliott has his way. Tyler Morton, who is currently on loan at Hull City, made his full England Under-21s debut alongside his fellow Liverpool midfielder against Northern Ireland on Tuesday night.

Like Elliott, he got on the scoresheet at Goodison Park, opening the scoring with a well-taken half-volley before setting up his club-mate’s second strike of the night with a pinpoint through-ball.

Having enjoyed a successful loan to the Championship himself with Blackburn Rovers, Elliott is well aware of how much of an impact such a switch can have on a player’s career. And delighted by his team-mate’s performance, he admitted he hopes they get to play plenty more times together for both club and country.

“Oh he’s amazing! I love Ty!” Elliott cheekily shouted with a grin of his face as he looked over his shoulder, well-aware that Morton was conducting his own interview just behind him. “We’ve come through the Academy together. He’s one of my best mates.

“To be sharing a pitch with him, it’s unbelievable for him and for myself as well. When his goal struck the net, I was the happiest kid in the world. I’m so thrilled for him, I’m over the moon.

“He was unbelievable today and, for me, the best player on the pitch. He fully deserved that goal.

“It (a loan move to the Championship) is a pathway. You can go out and get these experiences in the Championship, like I did as well. It’s a great league, full of great teams. The experiences you get there are like no other and it’s a great way to learn.

“I’m just happy that he’s doing his thing on loan and expressing himself the way I know he can. Hopefully we can share the pitch more often.”

Elliott and Liverpool return to club action on Saturday as they travel to the Etihad to face Man City. A 12.30pm kick-off, the Reds have taken to the field in all four post-international break lunchtime slots in 2023.

The first of the calendar year saw them suffer a 4-1 defeat away at City back in April, with Liverpool’s last Premier League victory at the home of their title rivals now coming over eight years ago.

Klopp has been critical of such a kick-off time on more than one occasion, with the Reds stung even more by their four South American players being in international action in the early hours of Wednesday morning before travelling back to Merseyside.

Elliott admit that preparations for such games are tough but, with Liverpool in a much stronger position than they were the last time they travelled to the Etihad, the midfielder is convinced that Klopp's side are ready to face City.

“Yeah, definitely (it’s hard),” he said. “Especially with the South Americans as well, travelling and everything, but we can't use that as an excuse. It’s the same for City as well.

“We just need to, obviously as soon as we get back, start preparing for that game. We need to make sure we're mentally there and not focused on the bits before. We need to make sure we’re prepared and ready to go.

“It's going to be a tough game at the Etihad, especially against a worldclass team as well. It’s not going to be easy. But I think we've had a good international break and we can take it into the weekend.”


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