Liverpool coach Lijnders details tactic that has proven Harvey Elliott’s quality
Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott hugely impressed Jurgen Klopp and his assistant Pep Lijnders during his first training session after adapting seamlessly to their pressing style.
The then 16-year-old made the switch from Fulham to Liverpool last summer.
Elliott's status as the youngest ever Premier League player carries a burden in itself, but he showed no sign of nervousness in his opening training session at Melwood.
Lijnders told the club's official website how Elliott's intensity proved he had the ability to play in attack for the Reds.
"I remember coming back into Melwood and me and Jurgen were sitting and both said, ‘OK… that’s quite impressive for a 16-year-old!’" he said.
"Normally when we do the counter-press rondo we did that day, you see straight away if a player can handle the speed and decision-making because it’s such a short space you play our game in."
The teenager has largely been given his opportunities in the cup competitions.
But he admits he had to alter his game in order to make the grade on Merseyside.
He said: "I think as the time has gone on here, I think I’ve got used to it and adapted to it more.
"I think at first coming into the training sessions, I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is what it’s really like!?’ The technique and style of play is a lot different.
"It was hard to adapt, but I think it’s easy at the same time because it’s simple – it’s how we play, when we play, either speeding up or controlling the game.
"I think if you get that into your mind and get the technique right, I think you can adapt to it very well."
The likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are above him in the pecking order and Elliott confesses the enormity of playing for the Reds sunk in very quickly.
"I think it was my first training session" he added. "Obviously the full squad wasn’t there, but stepping through the doors and seeing all the lockers [in the changing room] was a real moment for me.
"Then onto the pitch and the tempo of training and the quality of the players… I was like, ‘Wow!’"
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