Harvey Elliott‘s time on loan at Blackburn came to an end on Saturday, and the 18-year-old signed off in style with his seventh goal – a brilliant chipped effort.
The final day of the Championship was a productive one for Rovers, but it brought to an end an ultimately disappointing campaign for Tony Mowbray’s side.
After initial hopes of promotion, at least via the playoffs, Blackburn slipped to midtable, and despite a 5-2 victory over Birmingham, they finished 15th, a full 20 points off sixth.
Perhaps mindful of managing the minutes of his young Liverpool loanee, Mowbray limited Elliott’s exposure in the last months of the season, and he was substitute for a third consecutive game.
But coming onto the field with the score at 2-2, Elliott made his mark on his farewell outing, scoring his seventh goal of the campaign.
It came in sublime fashion, latching onto Corry Evans’ through ball to lift it over Connal Trueman and into the net, putting Blackburn 4-2 up before Adam Armstrong completed his hat-trick.
Elliott had already won Rovers’ Goal of the Season award for his left-footed curler against Millwall in December, but this may well have topped it.
The teenager ends his time at Ewood Park having scored seven and assisted 11 in 42 games, with only 10 players directly contributing to more goals in the normal Championship season.
Reading’s Michael Olise and Norwich’s Emi Buendia – both touted as possible Liverpool targets – were the only players to have laid on more assists, with Elliott’s tally equalling that of another Reds loanee, Harry Wilson.
He certainly enjoyed his time with Rovers, taking to Instagram after the game to express his delight at the campaign, adding that he is “looking forward to coming home.”
Elliott is now expected to join up with Jurgen Klopp‘s first team for pre-season, with a decision to be made over whether he will stay at Anfield next term or head out on loan again.
It can be argued that he is worthy of a place in the senior squad after his exploits in the Championship, and the playmaker is convinced he can challenge for a spot.
“Obviously it’s not going to be handed to me,” he said last month of a possible breakthrough at Liverpool.
“I need to work hard for it, I need to gain the trust and show that I am able to do it now and I am talented enough to do it.”