Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders heaps praise on Harvey Elliott as he reveals the teenager is set to reprise a key role in Klopp’s midfield as he returns from a serious ankle injury with a bang
- Harvey Elliott has returned to first-team training after recovering from injury
- Teenager hasn’t played for Liverpool since dislocating his ankle in September
- But now returning to full fitness, Pep Lijnders is delighted to have him back
- Liverpool’s assistant boss wants Elliott to reprise a key role in the team’s midfield
Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has heaped praise on Harvey Elliott after the midfielder returned to full training, just four months on from suffering a horrific ankle injury.
The 18-year-old dislocated his ankle during Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Leeds back in September, just as he was starting to nail down a regular spot in Jurgen Klopp’s side.
And while many expected Elliott to be out for most of the campaign, the midfielder is now back sooner than expected and is already turning heads in training.
Harvey Elliott has returned to first-team training after recovering from a serious ankle injury
Elliott shared a laugh with Virgil Van Dijk (left picture) and Jurgen Klopp (right) on his return to full training after missing the last four months with a dislocated ankle
Lijnders is certainly one of them and Klopp’s No 2 has revealed the dedicated youngster, who was seen smashing in goals and sharing a joke with Virgil Van Dijk in training, is set to reprise that important role in the heart of Liverpool’s midfield once he’s back to full fitness.
‘He didnt lose his football brain during the time he was off,’ Lijnders said. ‘Yesterday it would be a crime not playing him if you see him in training.
‘Some players don’t knock on the door, they run through it and Harvey is like that in each session. He is coming back from a long-term injury so it is important he is team fit, that he prepares himself well but it is great to have him back.
Liverpool’s assistant boss Pep Lijnders wants Elliott to reprise a key role in the team’s midfield
‘You saw in the first games of the season how he influenced our style. We are happy that he is back with us, doing all the things we normally do.
‘We like the players who have goals in them, not just dribbles or technique but always searches for the last pass. He influences our game a lot.’
While one Liverpool midfielder has returned from an ankle injury, another is set for a short spell on the sidelines.
Lijnders confirmed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Arsenal – but reassured fans that his ankle injury is not serious.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will not be available for Liverpool’s semi-final against Arsenal
The 28-year-old was forced off in the second half of Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League victory over Brentford at Anfield, soon after scoring the Reds’ second goal.
The problem rules him out of this week’s return to his former club Arsenal, but the club are hopeful he could be back in action for this weekend’s trip to Crystal Palace.
Lijnders added: ‘I spoke yesterday with him and he thinks it’s not that bad. We have to assess it day by day. I would not rule out the weekend, but for sure not tomorrow.’