LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 12, 2022: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and SL Benfica. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Harvey Elliott accepts off-colour “training weeks” led to lack of minutes

Harvey Elliott had his breakthrough season at Liverpool disrupted by a serious ankle injury and since his comeback he’s made nine appearances, a tally he accepts he could have been more.

The 19-year-old was a bright light for the Reds at the start of the season before he suffered a fracture-dislocation of his ankle at Leeds in September.

It brought his season to a grinding halt and saw his efforts focused firmly on rehabilitation before returning 147 days later, against Cardiff in the FA Cup.

Since then, Elliott has featured nine times for Jurgen Klopp for a total of 424 minutes and has been an unused substitute on 10 occasions.

There’s been no rhythm to his games and it has seen questions raised about his involvement, and while Elliott respects Klopp’s decision making, the teenager also accepts he has not always been at his best to push for selection.

“I know myself that I am fit but it’s down to the manager to make the decisions,” Elliott told the Echo after his first league start at Southampton since his injury.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 6th, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp prepares to bring on substitutes new signing Luis Díaz and Harvey Elliott during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We’re all 100 percent behind his decisions and we all take it on the chin. So I haven’t been playing that much but it’s been all down to me really.

“There have been some training weeks where I haven’t really been at my best and it’s down to me to make sure that I am showing the gaffer that I am able to play and I am ready for the opportunity like [vs. Southampton] when it is given to me.

“But like I say, we’re all committed and we’re all 100 percent behind the gaffer.

“So whatever team is put out or whatever subs come on, it’s best for us and best for the team, so we’re all for it as a team.

“We’re all here if we’re needed. But as I say, just to put the shirt back on again and play in front of the fans and to get the win like we did [vs. Southampton], which was a crucial one, is a lovely experience, a lovely feeling and hopefully many more to come.”

It’s an honest assessment for Elliott, who often comes across as older than his 19 years, and now he is eager to stay fit and hungry for more after his latest taste at St Mary’s.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 17, 2022: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It was nice to get back out there again in the Premier League, get some minutes and obviously I know I needed to keep myself fresh,” Elliott said.

“I obviously had a terrible injury and I knew I didn’t need to rush anything.

“I just needed to keep myself fit and like you’ve seen [at Southampton] I needed to make sure I can get through the minutes I play. That is all I have focused on really.

“We’ve got a great squad with great players and to get out there and start again is a lovely feeling, just to put the Liverpool shirt back on and play 60 minutes.

“Hopefully, I can get more minutes down the line, but we’ll see. I am just ready for each and every moment. I’ve just got to keep myself fit.”