Signed for just £4m, now worth £52m: Liverpool struck gold with “special” £40k-p/w gem - opinion


Liverpool have reached staggering levels of success since the appointment of Jurgen Klopp back in 2015, who has transformed the Premier League club and unlocked the potential of so many stars, who in turn have rewarded the German with silverware across nearly every possible avenue.

For all of the outfit's stunning feats over the past several years, they did endure a rocky road last time out, falling by the wayside and finishing in fifth-place after failing to click together all year, with the weary midfield sapped of life and the once vigorous unity of the overall cohesion a distant and bitter memory.

Because of Liverpool's woes, Klopp ruthlessly sought to give the majority of the Anfield centre the boot, with James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's contractual expiries followed by the sales of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho and the loan exit of Fabio Carvalho.

Four exciting new faces were landed, and Liverpool are back on their way this year with a very different feel to the centre of the Anfield efforts.

Certain members of the old guard have retained their roles in the squad, however, with the likes of Curtis Jones and Stefan Bajcetic pushing to work their way up the pecking order after growing into their skin in different scenarios last year, impressing despite their club's struggles for form and fluidity.

Another to have made their presence known was Harvey Elliott, who contributed enormously and will now be hoping to enter the next phase of his development as Liverpool chart a course for success once more this year.

Liverpool signed Elliott from English rivals Fulham in 2019 when he was just 16-years-old, paying the Cottagers a £750k compensation fee after gleaning the prodigious talent.

However, in February 2021, the Anfield side were ordered to pay a record compensation fee of £4m, inclusive of add-ons, while also acquiescing to Fulham's demand for a 20% sell-on clause to be inserted.

It's a payment Liverpool will have wanted to avoid, paying a large fee for an untested commodity on the major stage, but while Elliott is still scarcely free of his teenage years, the omens already bode well.

If Liverpool were to cash in on the dynamic midfielder any time soon, not that that will likely happen, they would receive a handsome figure for the burgeoning talent.

According to CIES Football Observatory's valuation tool, Elliott now boasts a market value of €60m (£52m), emphasising just how impressive a rise this young star has had over the past several years, and given his youthful age, he is yet to reach even the periphery of his zenith.

This is largely down to his integration into Liverpool's first-team, having now chalked up 70 senior showings for the Reds, scoring seven goals, supplying six assists and earning praise for his David Beckham-esque aura on the pitch by European football expert Andy Brassell who quirkily he said "was like a flying ant in a forest of sloths".

Last season, the one-time Blackburn Rovers loanee indeed impressed, scoring five goals and providing two assists from 46 appearances across all competitions, with the regularity of his match action underscoring the high regard that Klopp holds him in.

The increase in responsibility is jaw-dropping; the year before, when Liverpool were pushing for a historic quadruple, though ultimately clinching just the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, Elliott only played 11 times across all competitions, starting three of the opening four Premier League matches of the campaign before an ankle dislocation played detriment to his seasonal progress.

Despite the influx of acquisitions this summer, Klopp clearly still views Elliott as an integral member of the squad, having featured him regularly already and looking to return to silver-laden success after falling flat last year, with the Europa League in particular warranting greater rotation as the Reds battle across multiple fronts.

An exceptional dribbler with a gliding gait and eye for an impactful pass, it's easy to forget that this ace is still in the early phase of his professional career - for example, he is younger than the likes of Barcelona's Pedri and Arsenal's Bukayo Saka - and he could see his lofty valuation balloon even further as he continues to make the increments to his craft over the coming years.

This season, Elliott has featured across all four of the Merseyside outfit's opening matches of the Premier League season but is yet to earn his maiden start of the year.

Heralded as a "special" talent by transfer guru Fabrizio Romano after penning a new long-term deal with Liverpool until 2027, the £40k-per-week phenom can safely say he is already one of the most creative, energetic midfielders in Liverpool's mix, ranking admirably against positional peers under Klopp's leadership.

As is clearly delineated, Elliott's presence on the pitch will result in an upswing in opportunity for the likes of Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and co in the offensive third, with the 20-year-old capable of orchestrating from deep or weaving through the lines to directly influence the attacking play in decisive moments.

Elliott's defensive workrate does receive its criticism, with the Englishman averaging only 0.8 tackles, 0.5 interceptions and 0.2 clearances per game in the English top-flight last term, as per Sofascore.

However, while the current campaign is in its rudimentary stage, Elliott impressed against Chelsea in the season opener, coming off the bench in the 77th minute and making two clearances and one interception, winning his duel and dribble attempts and completing 89% of his passes, reminding Klopp of the weapon he wields, capable of unlocking defences when all looks lost in the closing period of the match.

While Elliott is still an unrefined gem, the signs point towards a prosperous and sustained career at the top, and Liverpool will look back at his £4m signing as one of the shrewdest deals of the Klopp era as he continues to rise over the coming seasons.

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