Harvey Elliott teed up his third assist in six games for Blackburn on Saturday, with the 17-year-old surpassing expectations in his first weeks on loan from Liverpool.
It has been a brilliant start to life at Blackburn for Elliott, who has slotted in seamlessly and rewarded Tony Mowbray’s faith as a first-choice starter.
While results have been mixed for Rovers so far, their new No. 16 has been consistently impressive in pulling the strings from the right flank, and this was no different on Saturday at home to QPR.
Only his second win in Blackburn colours, Elliott’s fingerprints were all over the 3-1 victory at Ewood Park, including laying on Adam Armstrong’s match-winning strike with a perfect through ball.
That came in the 73rd minute, with the scores poised at 1-1, as Elliott picked the ball up from Ben Brereton on the counter and, after two touches, played a sublime pass for Armstrong, who was able to cut inside Yoann Barbet as a result before firing home.
Armstrong later wrapped up the win, which leaves Rovers sitting 12th over the international break, with hopes Elliott can help them further up the table when play resumes at Luton on November 21.
“I’m not sure too many others would have the quality to play that pass,” Mowbray said after the game.
“Harvey Elliott just brings a bit of everything. Decision-making, weight of pass, when to keep it, when to play forward.
“Some of the deliveries from set-pieces are just begging to be headed or put into the net.
“You can see the quality of the kid. It’s amazing to think he is so young.”
Elliott has already scored one and assisted three in six appearances for Blackburn, and of those to play 300 or more minutes in the Championship so far, only three players have averaged more key passes per 90 than the teenager (2.8).
Not only that, but he weighs in off the ball, too, with more tackles per 90 than any of his fellow Blackburn forwards (1.7), along with more interceptions (0.8).
Mowbray, however, feels he needs to be “a bit more selfish in the box,” and this could be a key trait he develops in the coming months at Rovers, before returning to Liverpool a more experienced and well-rounded talent.
Elsewhere over the weekend, it was a disappointing afternoon for Harry Wilson and Sheyi Ojo, as Cardiff fell to a 1-0 defeat that put rivals Bristol City two points off the top of the Championship.
Wilson started and played the full 90 minutes while Ojo played 63 before being replaced by Robert Glatzel, and both came close to equalising after Chris Martin’s opener within 96 seconds, with Wilson’s header drawing a strong save.
Marko Grujic and Taiwo Awoniyi were both substitutes in winning efforts for Porto and Union Berlin, with neither holding down a regular starting spot yet despite bright showings.
Adam Lewis’ time in and out of the side at Amiens was boosted as he started on the visit to Auxerre, but he lasted just 64 minutes at left-back as he was taken off for Sanasi Sy.
Meanwhile, Kamil Grabara‘s strong start to life back at AGF Aarhus continued with a 2-1 win over Lyngby, which keeps the Danish side just a point behind Liverpool’s Champions League opponents Midtjylland and two off league leaders SonderjyskE.
And finally, Tony Gallacher was a first-half substitute for Toronto FC, but it came in defeat as the New York Red Bulls ran out 2-1 winners.
Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup
- Harvey Elliott (Blackburn) – 90 mins vs. QPR, assist
- Harry Wilson (Cardiff) – 90 mins vs. Bristol City
- Sheyi Ojo (Cardiff) – 63 mins vs. Bristol City
- Marko Grujic (Porto) – 22 mins vs. Portimonense
- Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin) – 17 mins vs. Arminia
- Kamil Grabara (AGF Aarhus) – 90 mins vs. Lyngby
- Adam Lewis (Amiens) – 64 mins vs. Auxerre
- Tony Gallacher (Toronto) – 49 mins vs. New York Red Bulls
Unused: Loris Karius, Morgan Boyes, Anderson Arroyo
Injured: Ben Woodburn