Senior service helps Elliott learn important lessons



Posted Wednesday, October 30, 2019 by PA

Senior service helps Elliott learn important lessons

Liverpool teenager Harvey Elliott is learning important lessons from senior professionals within Jurgen Klopp’s squad, according to assistant manager Pepijn Ljinders.

The 16-year-old has just returned from a 14-day Football Association ban for using offensive language in mocking England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane in a video which was made public on social media.

It did not rule him out of any significant matches and he is now set to be included in the squad for the last-16 Carabao Cup tie at home to Arsenal.

The 16-year-old became the club’s youngest player to start a senior match – at 16 years and 174 days – when impressing his debut in the 2-0 victory over MK Dons in the previous round.

He now trains with the first team virtually full-time and Ljinders believes that is a valuable learning experience for the youngster.

“We can’t forget that he is only 16, of course. We have to be careful with that,” he said.

“But how I see him, since I have been working with him, I see a very educated boy. I see a boy who is really passionate for the game.

“If you come here, you see Milly (James Milner), Hendo (Jordan Henderson), (Adam) Lallana, Gini (Wijnaldum), Virg (Virgil Van Dijk), Bobby (Roberto Firmino) – all examples in different ways.”

Unai Emery has refused to confirm whether Granit Xhaka will retain the Arsenal captaincy or if he will face punishment for swearing at supporters – but called for him to issue an apology.

The 27-year-old was jeered as he was substituted in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace and responded by waving his arms, cupping his ears and mouthing “f*** off” before refusing to shake Emery’s hand and taking off his shirt as he headed straight down the tunnel.

Speculation was rife as to whether Xhaka would lose the armband as a result of the incident but, despite speaking to the player on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Emery would not be drawn on whether a decision had been taken and instead focused on the well-being of his skipper.

“At the moment, I am not speaking and I don’t want to speak about that. The first is for him to recover,” the Gunners’ head coach replied when asked if Xhaka would remain as captain.

“Now he is upset, devastated and sad. It is not only yesterday and today. He is feeling the supporters don’t like him.

“We spoke yesterday and on Sunday night and also spoke this morning.

“He trained as normal with the group but he is devastated and he is sad about the situation.”

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