Soccer

Jurgen Klopp has a problem with Liverpools young Lionel Messi

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp receives the freedom of the city

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has a positional problem to think about when it comes to young ace Harvey Elliott. The 19-year-old has been in impressive form this season and was compared to legendary player Lionel Messi by Reds team-mate Fabio Carvalho during the week.

Elliott and Carvalho sat down together to provide alternative commentary on the official Liverpool YouTube channel for their 2-1 victory over Newcastle in August. And after watching Elliott control a pass from goalkeeper Alisson, cut past two defenders, play a one-two with Jordan Henderson and switch play, Carvalho exclaimed: “It’s like a young Lionel Messi.”

Elliott has been a key player for the Reds this season but has occupied a whole host of positions. And that could be causing Klopp a huge headache.

Klopp may not currently know where Elliott’s best position is and could well be scratching his head over where to play the teenager in the long term. The ace has played in central midfield, attacking midfield and as a winger since the campaign got underway and could arguably even do a job in other positions.

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If Klopp wants Elliott to play as a central midfielder, the player will need to work on the defensive part of his game. Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold habitually likes to drive forward and attack at will. And Elliott would need to become adroit at covering for the England international and protecting his defence.

If Klopp asks Elliott to play on the wing, the ace would need to rack-up more goals and assists. The youngster has only scored three times in 18 matches this campaign and is yet to register an assist. And if the boss sees Elliott as more of a No 10, he might have to sacrifice his favoured 4-3-3 formation to make room for him.

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Liverpool have endured a difficult start to the new season and began the weekend eight points adrift of the top four. The Reds had won just four times in 12 matches ahead of their trip to north London to face Tottenham.

But the Merseyside giants have performed much better in the Champions League and secured their place in the knockout stages of the competition after winning five of their matches and finishing second in their group. But the Reds could face an tricky draw in the last 16 as they will face one of the group winners, with the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid potential opponents.

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