What Harvey Elliott’s injury means for Liverpool’s midfield

Liverpool put three past Leeds United at Elland Road on Sunday, but the game was marred as the 18-year-old midfielder, Harvey Elliott, suffered an awful ankle injury that would leave him out for a long period.

Leeds defender Pascal Struijk appeared to make a hard yet innocuous challenge on Elliott, but the images of the youngster’s ankle and the images displaying the reactions of his teammates made it visible that he had sustained a serious injury.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was openly distraught about the condition of his player, and his emotions were still raw following the final whistle:

I saw the situation. I could see his foot was not in the right place. That is why we were all shocked.

Klopp went on to say that Elliott was in massive pain, but they would wait for him.

Massive pain, shock for him, for us and we don’t know more. We have to wait.

We’ll play without him, but we will wait for him as well because he is a top player.
(via BBC Sport)

Elliott himself was taken to hospital, and was in positive spirits, despite the awful injury.

The injury leaves a hole in Liverpool’s midfield

The injury leaves a hole in Liverpool’s midfield as Elliott had found himself a home in their midfield three, starting three of the club’s four opening Premier League games.

As a more attacking member of Liverpool’s midfield, the question is up for who can replace him. Elliott made a name for himself within the group, with his runs through the opposition and the ability to create spaces and pick out passes that put players where they need to be.

Naby Keita is arguably the best replacement

Naby Keita is arguably the best replacement for Elliott, but the Guinea international has struggled to hold down a place, be it through injury or inconsistent form.

This could leave the door open for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to return to the team and play the box-to-box role, after starting the opener vs Norwich City, where they won comfortably.

It is even possible that Takumi Minamino could work his way back, playing a little further back than usual, but in a role that would give him the freedom to use his attacking skills and dribbling runs.

Elliott leaves a big hole in the Liverpool side, especially going forward, they will need to find a midfield option that can come up with the same attacking style, otherwise, we could see a disjointed Reds team, that will be leaning on too many of their top players.