Even at 17-years-old, Harvey Elliott will no doubt have been expecting to play when he agreed to join Blackburn Rovers on a season-long loan deal from Liverpool on the final day of the summer transfer window.
Having already made a handful of appearances for the defending Premier League champions following his move from Fulham back in the summer of 2019, it seemed clear that a move to Ewood Park would have been engineered with the intention of giving the winger the chance to experience regular first-team football.
That is something that thankfully for all parties, already looks as though it will happen throughout the course of what remains of the season.
Elliott has already played the full 90 minutes of the two league games he has been eligible to represent Rovers in, and given his performances, manager Tony Mowbray should have no qualms about continuing to use the winger over the next few months.
Despite the prospect of a trip to last season’s Premier League relegation sufferers Watford in his Blackburn debut, Elliott acquitted himself impressively, and looked right at home at Championship level, something best exemplified by a perfectly weighted through ball to put Adam Armstrong in one on one with Ben Foster only for the Watford ‘keeper – typically of his form that night – to deny the striker.
Even so, that didn’t stop Elliott from going someway better next time out, registering his first senior goal and league assist in Blackburn’s 4-0 win away at Coventry on Saturday afternoon, which has lifted Rovers to tenth in the Championship table, two points off the play-off places.
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After instinctively and ruthlessly getting on the end of Ben Brereton’s cross to make it 3-0 to Rovers, Elliott then linked up brilliantly with Lewis Holtby, playing back to back one-twos with the German to break through the Coventry defence, before teeing up substitute Sam Gallagher to round-off the scoring.
Indeed, it seems clear that Elliott’s impact has already been felt by his new teammates and manager, given the way they celebrated with him after both his goal and assist, and Mowbray’s assessment of the teenager after that win, during which he described the winger as a ‘diamond’ of a player.
Given his age and the fact that, unlike the rest of the players loaned out by Liverpool this summer, this is Elliott’s first temporary spell away from the club, it does feel as though this has been done with the view to boosting his long-term prospects at Anfield.
The early so signs so far, is that this is a move that will be successful in doing that, and Elliott, Blackburn and Liverpool, will no doubt all be hoping that that is something that continues, all the way through to the end of the season.