Harvey Elliott is continuing to stake his claim for a first senior international call-up after playing a starring role in England U21’s 9-1 thrashing of Serbia U21’s.
The Liverpool youngster scored two goals and grabbed an assist to help the Young Lions recover after Serbia scored a shock early goal in the Euro U21 2025 qualifier, capping off a week in which he also made his first Premier League start of the season against Brighton.
While his first goal, a mazy run and shot from outside the box, and his assist for Jonathan Rowe from a fizzed cross highlighted the technical qualities he has come to be associated with, his second goal was arguably more impressive as he showcased his tenacity to win the ball back and drive through on goal before firing past goalkeeper Veljko Ilić.
Take a bow, Harvey Elliott! 😲
Catch up on our #YoungLions' brilliant 9-1 win over Serbia 👇
— England (@England) October 13, 2023
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp spoke highly of Elliott ahead of their fixture against the Seagulls, defending his decision to start him despite having played 90 minutes against Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League just three days earlier.
Speaking to Sky Sports in his pre-match interview, he said: “He played a good game on Thursday, he’s not overplayed. The man-marking of Brighton requires real physicality on the ball or being really quick. He can be both.”
"He's a super player" 🙌
Jurgen Klopp on Harvey Elliott's inclusion in the starting XI 👇 pic.twitter.com/eQMNCnA04N
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 8, 2023
Elliott has continued to develop the physical side of his game since breaking into the first team at Liverpool, hiring a specialist coach to work on his speed and taking diet and training advice from Mohamed Salah, who he describes as an ‘incredible role model’.
His versatility as an option in both central midfield and on the right wing will be enticing to Gareth Southgate, who has spoken about his need for players to be flexible in the past, saying: “We need adaptability, good professionals, tactically savvy players.”
The England manager has dropped hints that Elliott’s former U21’s teammates Levi Colwill and Eddie Nketiah could be in line for their first senior caps in the Three Lions’ friendly against Australia tonight (Friday) and the 20-year-old will be hoping to follow in their footsteps in the near future.
The next stage of progression for Elliott will be nailing down a more regular starting spot for Liverpool, with Colwill having played every league game for Chelsea this season and Nketiah regularly featuring for Arsenal.
The reinforcements Liverpool brought in this summer in the shape of Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Ryan Gravenberch and Wataru Endo, as well as the emergence of Curtis Jones as an integral part of the midfield has made breaking into the starting XI even more challenging, but Klopp’s comments indicate Elliott is trusted to take on that mantle.
England can qualify for EURO 2024 with a win against Italy on Tuesday, and with plenty of time between now and Southgate’s final squad selection in May Elliott will be looking to make a good impression as he tries to help Liverpool compete in both European and domestic competition.