Jurgen Klopp’s first refusal on summer transfer poses problem for Liverpool youngster

With Liverpool investing in young attacking talents, it would be no surprise for academy product Harvey Elliott to begin questioning whether his progress could become halted at Anfield.

The versatile player made an exceptional start to the season whilst being deployed as a no.10, rather than on the wing. However, a severe ankle injury meant that he had to spend an extended period of the season on the sidelines.

Elliott returned to the first team with a bang in February but has recently found himself struggling to even make the Reds’ matchday squad – playing for the under 23s since late March. Though it has not been addressed by the player or manager, the 19-year-old may be concerned about potentially seeing several bright prospects arriving at Anfield over the summer.

Fulham starlet Fabio Carvalho almost made the move to Liverpool in January but the deal had to be postponed until the end of the season, and there are high hopes for the Portuguese playmaker upon his arrival. Carvalho is a creative midfielder and will be keen to slot into Jurgen Klopp’s trio in the centre of the park, and if he hits the ground running in Merseyside then it is hard to see Elliott returning to the team.

Liverpool’s strength in the final third is somewhat remarkable and Elliott has not progressed to that level yet. Therefore, when Klopp deployed the former Fulham loanee as a number 10 it looked like a long-term solution.

But the Reds don’t look set on ending their youth investment there. As revealed by the Sunday Mirror, the club have first refusal on Porto prospect Fabio Vieira, who has scored six and assisted 14 so far this season.

Harvey Elliott could struggle for minutes next season

Harvey Elliott could struggle for minutes next season

The 21-year-old would be following in the footsteps of former team-mate Luis Diaz if he decides to depart Porto for Liverpool, which evidences the fruitful relationship between the two clubs. It is unclear whether the Reds are going to activate the release clause in the Portuguese star’s contract and on what grounds would they be able to, but their interest alone would certainly indicate that Klopp isn’t entirely happy with his options as it stands.

As time goes by, Elliott will certainly be banking on some of his elder teammates or those on the fringe of the team moving on, freeing up more space in the squad. But the fact that there are similar style players arriving at the club whilst he is not even in the matchday squad could be a cause for concern.

Liverpool under-23s boss Barry Lewtas spoke previously of why Elliott was part of his squad, he said: “The likes of Harvey and Rhys Williams want to play and get their minutes, they want to stay sharp and if they are called upon by our manager, they want to be ready. It just shows the character that we have at this club. The lads want to play and they understand what they need to do to get to the next level. Harvey’s attitude and his performances – he is a credit to himself and a credit to the club as well.”

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