Former Liverpool man Jason McAteer claims that the young prospect Harvey Elliott has the ability and attitude to go on and achieve whatever he likes in the game, in conversation with Off The Ball.
A Premier League player with Fulham less than one month after his 16th birthday in 2019, Harvey Elliott hasn't only impressed Jason McAteer with what he has shown so early on in his career.
Signed by Liverpool a few months after making his first league appearance for the London club, McAteer, speaking at OTB Sport's UEFA Champions League Final preview night in association with Pepsi Max and Doritos, believes there is no limit to what the young English midfielder can achieve in the game.
"I'm telling you now that he will be an absolute superstar," predicted McAteer, impressed with what he has seen of Elliott on the pitch and behind closed doors. "He's only 17, but what an attitude he has.
"Harvey Elliott has been around the club now for about 18 months. Of what I've seen, I think he is an absolute superstar. He's got the lot."
Although Elliott may not thank him for it just yet, McAteer went so far as to rank the youngster's potential alongside some of the game's greatest every midfield players.
"He is typically playing wide at the minute," he noted of Elliott's position, "but I can see him slotting into a more central role in that midfield area like Xavi or Andrés Iniesta would.
"I'll put my head on the line here, but if he develops the right way I think he can be as good as either of those players, and that's saying something."
Indeed, two World Cup winners who have achieved every imaginable success between club and country, both Xavi and Iniesta have been regarded as fundamentally important to the successes of Barcelona and Spain in the last decade.
"We are talking about a 17-year-old here who is still developing," allowed McAteer, "but he has got that ability to see things and make that killer pass."
Although it may be too soon for Elliott to become a regular feature in Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, McAteer foresees a role in the team going forward that could suit the young man's special talents.
"What I see Harvey Elliott doing," suggested McAteer, "Jurgen actually tried against Lyon in pre-season last year with Adam Lallana.
"He would play as a sitting player in the midfield but a little bit more creative. He would't be in there to break things up or help with the press. He would just sit there turning the ball over with little passes, one-twos, bang, bang, bang.
"What I love about Harvey is that he never spends more than four or five seconds on the ball. He knows what he's doing and his execution more often than not is on point.
"I keep saying it, but players like this only come around every once in a while. I had the privilege of playing with Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. I had seen Wayne Rooney from a young age being on Merseyside too.
"I would put him in that bracket. Absolutely."