Jurgen Klopp could unleash new Liverpool midfield partnership in the Premier League title race

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images) | Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Liverpool have seven games remaining in the Premier League title race with Arsenal and Man City.

There might not be a player in the Premier League who deserves to start more matches than Harvey Elliott.

It’s a credit to the 21-year-old’s attitude that he does not bemoan his lack of chances from the outset. That’s not to say that a regular berth is something he doesn’t covet. Far from it. But Elliott’s prudent and understands the competition that surrounds him at what he describes as the best club in the world.

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Jurgen Klopp has previously insisted that Elliott’s time will come down the line. It’s easy to forget how young the diminutive forward is, having made more first-team appearances than Steven Gerrard did at the same age. What’s more, he was born two months after Jarell Qaunsah, who is enjoying a breakthrough campaign, and only three months the senior of Conor Bradley.

But after Elliott’s latest cameo in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Manchester United, there is a growing clamour for him to play more of a prominent role for the remainder of the Premier League title charge. Yet again, the England under-21 international made an impact from the bench at Old Trafford. Elliott stood up Aaron Wan-Bissaka and won the Reds a penalty that Mo Salah dispatched to earn a point. It moved Liverpool back level on points with Arsenal with seven matches remaining.

Had it not been for Elliott’s guile, there would be even more Kopites who believe Liverpool’s champions of being crowned champions have been put paid to. The ex-Fulham ace also added craft and energy when he replaced Mo Salah on the hour mark in the Reds’ previous game against Sheffield United. Klopp’s troops were being held 1-1 by the Premier League’s basement team. They’d end up delivering a 3-1 triumph.

Elliott deputised magnificently on the right flank when Salah jetted off to represent Egypt at the African Cup of Nations and then sustained a hamstring injury. Now that Salah is over his issue, his berth on the wing is undisputed. But that’s not to say Elliott could not slot into the engine room.

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And doing so could see Klopp unleash a new partnership for the remaining seven Premier League games. As things stand, there’s no player in the Anfield dressing room in richer form than Alexis Mac Allister. The Argentina international was one of the few players against United who performed with credit aplenty. Mac Allister’s recorded 10 goal contributions in his previous 11 games in all competitions. Having served as a No.6 during the early part of his Liverpool career after a £35 million move from Brighton last summer, he’s flourishing in a more advanced role. Klopp has stated several times of late how pleased he is that the Reds signed the World Cup winner.

And screening the defence, Wataru Endo is now undisputed first choice. Granted, the 31-year-old didn’t operate at the peak of his powers against United, having missed the Sheffield United win with a knock. But in the past few months, Endo’s been one of the standout players. Any concerns supporters had after his surprise arrival have been allayed.

The triumvirate of Endo, Mac Allister and Elliott have never started a Premier League game. They have been partnered together twice in the Europa League - a 3-1 loss against Toulouse which was a lacklustre display all round and a 5-1 thrashing of Sparta Prague in the last 16 first leg.

Dominik Szoboszlai has been the preferred option for the No.8 position on the right-hand side this term. Meanwhile, Curtis Jones has made two appearances off the bench after a six-week ankle injury and has been Klopp’s dog whistle in terms of counter-pressing. But Liverpool might just need something different in the season’s finale if they’re not to drop any more points. A trinity of Endo, Mac Allister and Elliott would offer that.

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