According to the Athletic (subscription required), Liverpool did not intend to loan exciting prospect Harvey Elliott out this season, with the talent now away tearing things up with Blackburn Rovers.
The Athletic report that Jurgen Klopp and Co. only felt resigned to loaning the 17-year-old out as a result of the Reds being knocked out of the Carabao Cup.
Liverpool entered the nation’s secondary cup competition in the Third Round, smashing Lincoln City 7-2 in an encounter that saw Elliott notch an assist, but they were then unfortunately drawn against Arsenal.
The Reds, like they’ve done under Klopp for some time now, fielded a largely rotated side, whilst Arsenal’s lineup featured more of their core players. Liverpool were knocked out on penalties.
That presented an issue for the Reds, being knocked out closed the door for more first-team opportunities for Elliott, with the club then sanctioning a loan after Blackburn made a ‘strong case’.
Blackburn have been rewarded for their perhaps audacious swoop for the talent, with Elliott scoring four goals and netting eight assists for Tony Mowbray’s side in just 23 Championship outings this season.
The Athletic have also found another nugget of information which suggests why Elliott hit the ground running and is continuing to star, the youngster has not been required to move house as part of the deal.
Blackburn’s home stadium, Ewood Park, is also close enough for Liverpool’s staff to remain in regular contact with the tricky winger.
Whilst the move is certainly working out for Elliott and fast-tracking his development, it’s pretty unfortunate for Liverpool that a tough cup fixture and eventual defeat has ultimately cost them the chance of keeping a flair-driven attacker as part of their squad this season.
With the Reds stuck in their worst run under Klopp’s tutelage in years, it’s clear that they’ve lacked at times going forward, with their short-staffed and injury-stricken squad not really offering enough competition to Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
It’s an unfortunate situation for Liverpool but at least Elliott is enjoying a fine campaign, whatever’s best for the talent’s development is ultimately best for the club long-term.