Liverpool’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders has taken on press conference duties on Wednesday due to manager Jurgen Klopp being forced to self isolate following a positive COVID-19 test.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the Reds’ Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Arsenal on Thursday night, Lijnders was asked about the possibility of seeing youngster Harvey Elliott back in action.
Elliott, 18, has been out since last September after dislocating his ankle during his side’s 3-0 win against Leeds United.
However, after returning to first-team training at the start of the month, fans have been wondering how long they have to wait to see the teenager back in the Reds’ matchday squad.
“He didn’t lose his football brain during the time he was off,” Lijnders said. “It would be a crime not playing him if you see him train like that.
“Some players they don’t knock on the door, they run through it and Harvey is a player like that in each session.
“But he’s coming back from a long-term injury so we really take our time.
“The important thing is that he really gets team fit, that he prepares himself well for the moment he’s really ready.
“It’s great to have him back. You saw in pre-season and in the first games of our season how he influenced our game, our style and our right-side.
“We’re just really happy that he’s back with us on the pitch. […] We like the players who have a goal in them. We like the players who have not just dribbles or technique but always search for the last pass. He influences our game a lot.”