Liverpool teenager Harvey Elliott is learning important lessons from senior professionals within Jurgen Klopp’s squad, according to assistant manager Pepijn Ljinders.
The 16-year-old has just returned from a 14-day Football Association ban for using offensive language in mocking England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane in a video which was made public on social media.
It did not rule him out of any significant matches and he is now set to be included in the squad for the last-16 Carabao Cup at home to Arsenal.
The 16-year-old became the club’s youngest player to start a senior match – at 16 years and 174 days – when impressing his debut in the 2-0 victory over MK Dons in the previous round.
He now trains with the first team virtually full-time and Ljinders believes that is a valuable learning experience for the youngster.
“We can’t forget that he is only 16, of course. We have to be careful with that,” the Liverpool assistant said.
“But how I see him, since I have been working with him, I see a very educated boy. I see a boy who is really passionate for the game.
“If you come here, and you see Milly (James Milner), Hendo (Jordan Henderson), (Adam) Lallana, Gini (Wijnaldum), Virg (Virgil Van Dijk), Bobby (Roberto Firmino) – all examples in different ways.
“Players who never whine. Players who never complain or make excuses. In the hardest moments, they never give up and they never give up our way.
“They always put the team above themselves. For a young player, you could not wish to have a better environment to grow.
“Talent needs models, not criticism. There’s not a much more powerful weapon than the examples of senior pros.”