‘F*cking hell, he’s brilliant!’ – Liverpool starlet tipped for first team

Joe Williams
Stewart Downing Blackburn Rovers Liverpool
Stewart Downing Blackburn Rovers

Former Liverpool winger Stewart Downing thinks current Blackburn Rovers team-mate Harvey Elliott has a good chance of making the first team at Anfield.

The 17-year-old moved to Blackburn in the summer on a loan deal until the end of the season, racking up 33 appearances in the league this term.

Elliott has been one of the Championship’s standout performers this campaign with five goals and ten assists for Rovers.

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He joined Liverpool from Fulham in 2019 and has already made nine first-team appearances under Jurgen Klopp – but a lack of opportunities this season saw him leave for Ewood Park.

And Downing has tipped Elliott for the top, he told Goal: “From what I’ve seen up to now, he’s going to be in the Premier League for sure.

“I know [Bournemouth manager] Jonathan Woodgate well, and he’s quite close to [Liverpool sporting director] Michael Edwards. He asked me about Harvey when he came to Blackburn, and I was like ‘f*cking hell, he’s brilliant!’

“It’s his game-understanding, when to pass the ball, when to dribble, when to come inside, when to stay wide. For someone so young, it’s top-drawer.

“Woody told me they have high hopes for him at Liverpool, and I can see why. But he knows better than anyone that he has a big job on his hands to get into the team.

“It’s one thing doing it at Blackburn, but we are talking about a team that wants to win Premier Leagues and Champions Leagues. Liverpool have to challenge, and Harvey has to get Mo Salah out of the team!

“But things can happen. If Salah leaves or gets injured, then he may get a chance, and then it’s up to him to take it.

“He’s got the quality, and playing with better players will bring the best out of him. And Klopp obviously likes him, so he has a chance.”


Downing added: “We played Liverpool during lockdown last season, and he came on. He only played half an hour, but he stood out with his maturity, how he played.

“He does the simple things well, and it sounds mad to say that because people think that’s easy, but a lot of young kids don’t do that.

“He’s been pretty consistent. He seems to have limitless energy! He trains every day, he’s played most of the games, and his levels have been consistent.

“The manager has probably had to protect him a bit and look at games where he can rest him, but the problem is, he’s been our go-to man!

“Him and Adam Armstrong have a great relationship, they seem to be on the same wavelength. Adam gets the goals and Harvey gets the assists. And that’s made it pretty hard to leave him out.

“Even when he has a ‘quiet’ game, he is still our most creative player!”