• Liverpool's Harvey Elliott has been in fine form in his debut season on loan at Blackburn
  • Elliott was once compared to Lionel Messi by the director of his former club
  • A Reds assistant manager has hinted at the possibility of bringing the loanee back to Anfield

Harvey Elliott, the Liverpool teenage sensation currently on loan with Blackburn Rovers, is proving why he’s one of the most sought-after rising stars in English soccer.

The 17-year-old, whom Fulham Academy director Huw Jennings once described as a “Lionel Messi-like” youngster, is now considered as one of the most highly-rated players in the EFL Championship and has already made his mark at Blackburn.

During Friday’s 2-0 thumping of Birmingham, Elliott once again impressed with a sensational assist early in the game. Within the opening 10 minutes, the midfielder set up Adam Armstrong with a defense-splitting pass to give Blackburn an early lead, Planet Football reported.

Elliott improved his EFL record to four goals and six assists in his first 18 appearances for the Rovers. Like Messi, Elliott also has the ability to score and create chances for his teammates. On top of that, he is already being recognized as a key figure at Blackburn.

Lionel Messi notched his 20th assist of the season in Barcelona's 1-0 win over Real Valladolid on Saturday.
Lionel Messi notched his 20th assist of the season in Barcelona's 1-0 win over Real Valladolid on Saturday. AFP / CESAR MANSO

“We have to be careful with him because he’s still very young, but he’s almost the go-to man for us at the moment, he’s playing well and getting goals,” Blackburn winger Stewart Downing told the club’s official website of Elliott in December. “The manager’s probably trying to see whether he can rest him at some stage, but you have to play him at the minute.”

“He’ll have ups and downs in his career, but he has that quality through a goal or an assist,” he added. “But he’s fitted in so well here, he’s got a good environment around him and the lads all really look after him. It’s important for him to just keep enjoying his football.”

Blackburn and Liverpool’s loan deal for Elliott is effective for the full 2020-21 season. However, Liverpool assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders has already hinted at the possibility of bringing the youngster back to Anfield.

“He’s impressing everyone,” Lijnders told The Liverpool Echo last month. “For us and for me, it’s not a surprise – if that’s here, there or wherever, he will surprise and show what he can bring.”

"It says a lot that he didn’t need a lot of time to adapt because he has this overview, this technical level, this maturity for his age is unbelievable,” he added. "At the same time, the constant threat of the final pass and the dribble and the shot. We miss him, to be honest, we really miss him. We wish he were here with us."