Harvey Elliot points to where he wants to see a teammates’ run in the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough at Ewood Park on November 3, 2020 in Blackburn, England.
Harvey Elliot points to where he wants to see a teammates’ run in the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough at Ewood Park on November 3, 2020 in Blackburn, England. | Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus

The Liverpool loanee has continued to be central to Rovers results, setting up the lone goal in a contested win against Middlesbrough.

This weekend the youngster teed up Blackburn Rovers teammate Joe Rodwell midway through the second half, earning his side three points against mid-table rivals Middlesbrough — and earning himself an eighth Championship assist.

Harvey Elliot set up Rodwell cleverly, showing his ability on the ball in tight spaces by playing a one-two with Adam Armstrong to open up the Boro defense, then cutting the ball back to Rodwell for a relatively simple finish, as the player now found himself in acres of space in fr ont of goal.

The pass was Elliot’s eighth assist on the season, which brings the seventeen-year-old’s total goal involvements this season to 12 (8 assists, 4 goals).

While he still has some development to do, it’s undeniable that the Liverpool loanee shows buckets of promise on a consistent basis.

Speaking a month ago, Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray emphasized his centrality to the young side.

“He’s a wonderful talent, he’s a brilliant individual to work with as well.

“I tell the team to give him the ball. The special talents in the team are generally the ones who make the right decision with the ball, they make the right decisions.”

In an injury-hit season, Liverpool fans watching the youngster progress will be licking their lips at the promise of Elliot working with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, and Roberto Firmino (and Diogo Jota when he returns from injury).

It’s unclear as yet, however, if Jürgen Klopp and Co. will wait for the youngster to progress in age a bit more before giving him a chance in the Liverpool first team, perhaps with another loan next season. Whether we see him in a red shirt sooner or later, though, the player has certainly done enough to keep eyes trained on him.

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Aston Villa v Liverpool -  FA Cup Third Round
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James Milner says the worst thing the Reds can do is let recent results get the better of them.

Last season, whenever Liverpool needed a goal they found it. Whenever a game was close, in the decisive moment, they came through.

Going by chances created and expected goals, they usually deserved all their victories. Yet at the same time, to have everything go your way when things are tight even when you are usually the better side isn’t normal.

Normal is to, at some point, have a moment of luck go against you. To have a chance to unconverted or have an opponent score a low probability effort.

And so it’s been this year for the Reds, as they’ve found more often than not that when things are close, results haven’t gone their way. Even when they have a solid case as having been the better side, which has often been the case.

“I think when you’ve been on the run we have in the last few years, winning game after game and things are going your way, everything is easy,” said James Milner, reflecting on Liverpool’s latest loss, a 3-2 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup.

“And obviously when results aren’t going your way, things that went your way before don’t seem to. That’s what we have to keep pushing, reacting the right way to disappointments.”

Over a season, perhaps, it will all balance out. If it does, and if Liverpool can keep their heads from dropping, they may still be favourites to finish in the top four when everything’s said and done.

React badly, though, let the past month’s run of poor results—results from performances that, if not great, have at least been better than said results—defeat them mentally, and they will have no chance of turning things around.

“I think the boys did well today,” Milner added. “They worked hard up front, created some good chances, and I thought some of the play in the final third was a lot better today, we carved out some good chances.

“Ultimately today is a cup game, but hopefully it’s the first step of us getting back on a good run.”

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Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Cup Final
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It seems a little desperate, but then Liverpool should probably be a little desperate to sign a centre half.

Less than a week ago, Arsenal and 32-year old Greek centre half Sokratis Papastathopoulos agreed to terminate his contract by mutual consent, with that mid-season contract cancellation about summing up how things went for him with the Gunners.

As such, it’s probably fair to say Sokratis wouldn’t normally be a name Liverpool—the club, the fans, or anyone associated with it—would think to bring in as a mid-season reinforcement. Times, though, aren’t normal for Jürgen Klopp’s faltering Reds.

The club are winless in five in the league, have dropped back from the title race into the thick of a top four battle, and are without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for the remainder of the season. Times, for the Reds, are maybe a little bit desperate in defence.

So it’s maybe not entirely implausible to hear claims today that they at least have put in a call to Sokratis, with Giannis Chorianopoulos, the chief editor of Greece’s Sportime, claiming the player received a brief inquiry call from Liverpool this week.

However, what’s potentially telling is that it’s claimed Sokratis was expecting more than a call. He was expecting, perhaps, an offer—and an offer didn’t come. Which suggests the Reds are actively looking to sign a defender but Sokratis isn’t first choice.

It’s hard to say for certain, of course, but there’s the appearance of Liverpool wanting Sokratis as an emergency option should another deal not go through. And unless things change quickly, it’s said Sokratis will sign a deal with Olympiacos shortly.

While all being highly speculative, if true, Liverpool contacting Sokratis about a move but not offering the ex-Arsenal defender a contract is the closest we’ve got to confirmation the club are in fact currently looking to make a centre half signing.

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Manchester United v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
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It’s honestly just good to see that we still remember how to score.

So we’re out of the FA Cup. Is that really that big a deal when our forwards have remembered how to find the back of the net again? The fact that defensive errors continued, and resulted in, three United goals is surely secondary to the fact that our attack looked alive and able to actually finish. The boss—who has at this point had a very hard start to the year—is being pragmatic about it all.

“Of course, of course we take that,” Klopp told the club’s website when asked how it felt to (finally) score twice. “We scored two goals, we had other situations where we could have scored as well. We had other situations where we created really well against a deep-defending block, so that is good.”

Both goals came from Mohamed Salah, but Firmino deserves equal credit for his role creating Salah’s first.

“There were a lot of good things but it’s a result game and we need results,” Klopp added. “If we scored two then that should not then mean we concede three. There were obvious mistakes around the goals: the first, protecting, the second, a mishit of the ball and the third, your colleagues told me now it was not a foul. I didn’t see it so I cannot change that, but the free-kick they got, the journalist said it might not be a foul but I didn’t see it back. That’s how it is, you have to stay stubborn in moments like this. You have to do the right stuff again and again and we will. If you want to change something you have to work hard and that’s what we will do.”

This obviously isn’t going to be Liverpool’s season and given what the Reds are working with, that’s more than understandable. Focusing on slowly recovering from injuries and the breathtaking pace that the FA have set should take priority. But in the meantime, if we could beat Spurs on Thursday, that obviously wouldn’t hurt.

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Birmingham City v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship - St Andrews Trillion Trophy Stadium
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Mike McGrath of The Telegraph reports that Liverpool are close to wrapping up a deal for Derby County’s 16 year old striker, Kaide Gordon

With a rash of injuries throughout the season, coupled with anemic offensive output this last month, Liverpool fans are waiting for any news on the transfer front. Well, we have some news for you, but it’s not a center back, or even a senior team player.

Mike McGrath of The Telegraph is reporting that Liverpool look to be set to sign the highly rated Kaide Gordon. The 16 year old striker is rumored to be coming in for a price of over £1 million, with Manchester United and Totenham Hotspur also said to be looking to complete a deal for the England youth international.

The young striker was recently given his senior team debut against Birmingham City by manager Wayne Rooney, who knows a thing or two about playing the position.

“I brought Kaide up with the first team initially to train with us for a week to see how he reacted to it, and he was one of the best trainers,” said Rooney. “I kept him with us for a couple of weeks and he’s been training now at the same level, if not a better level, to a lot of the players.”

While it would likely be at least several years before Gordon would potentially be in contention for senior team minutes at Liverpool, his signing would follow a trend. Michael Edwards and the scouting network look to be snapping up some talented youth prospects to stock the academy. With Brexit in place, there will be much fiercer competition for young talent from the UK as there is no longer open borders with the rest of the European continent.

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