Elliott: I want to achieve big things, just like Mane and Salah

Harvey Elliott has been inspired by working alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but now he sees the duo as part of the competition for first-team opportunities at Liverpool.

Elliott was handed his full Premier League debut by Jurgen Klopp in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Burnley, becoming the 10th youngest player start a top-flight game for Liverpool and the youngest since Ben Woodburn in April 2017.

The 18-year-old previously appeared for Fulham aged just 16 years and 30 days, making him the youngest player to appear in Premier League history.

However, after a positive loan spell with Blackburn in the Championship last term, Elliott is back at Anfield and proving he can fit right in to Klopp’s team.

“The first few training sessions after I first arrived at Liverpool was like, woah, I am actually training with these guys,” Elliott responded to The Athletic and BT Sport about Salah and Mane.

“Going from watching them live on TV to seeing them in person and training alongside them, you really realise what a presence they bring. They are world-class players but we’re all here to fight for a place in the team.

“We’re all competing for the same thing. Now I look upon them as my competition. I learn a lot from them.

“They are great inspirations to kids around the world — and to me too — with what they have been through and what they’ve achieved. I want to achieve big things like they have.”

“I thought he was outstanding”

Skipper @JHenderson was full of praise for Harvey Elliott after his display against Burnley

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 23, 2021

Used in a midfield role against Burnley, Elliott produced three key passes – the third-most of any Liverpool player – and completed 90 per cent of his attempted passes in the opposing team’s half. Only Trent Alexander-Arnold, who set up Mane to make it 2-0, attempted more (42).

Teenager Elliott knows he must keep on improving to challenge Salah and Mane, who became the fifth player to hit 50 home goals for Liverpool with his second-half strike at Anfield.

“Even to this day I’m not as quick as I’d like to be,” he admitted.

“You can never be happy with what you are, you always need to push yourself. I still need to improve my speed, especially when you look at players like Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.”

Asked about being versatile, he explained: “It’s what players need in their game, being able to adapt to different positions.

“It gives me more of a chance of getting into the team. It’s been a challenge to adapt.

“It’s a case of getting your head around knowing where you need to be, how and when you need to press, knowing who you are needing to deal with on their team. I’m enjoying playing somewhere else.”