It was widely believed that Xherdan Shaqiri would depart Anfield last summer after failing to make a big impression on Jurgen Klopp’s side, but the Switzerland international eventually decided to stay put, meaning the England under-17’s international ended up going out on loan.
The youngster joined Championship side Blackburn Rovers on transfer deadline day and has thrived throughout his time at Ewood Park, scoring five goals and providing 10 assists in all competitions.
Elliott’s impressive form has earned the praise of several plaudits, and Lynch believes his terrific displays for Tony Mowbray’s men will be enough to earn the teenager a sport in Klopp’s Premier League squad for 2021/22 when Shaqiri is expected to finally depart.
He said: “They very much expected that Shaqiri would eventually leave at some point this summer. As we know, he’s spoken about it publicly that he had a few offers but sort of decided he thought it would be better served staying at Liverpool, and if Shaqiri had moved on, I think you would have seen Elliott picking up those minutes that Shaqiri has had this season.
“I think the idea is that that spot is probably going to open up this summer. We know fans are coming back, so football clubs are going to have a little bit more cash this summer, or they can expect it to come in, so I think this is the summer where Shaqiri moves on, and I think that opens up that spot nicely for Elliott.
“I think they believe that he could basically take on that supporting role, and that was the plan for Curtis Jones, for example, to take Adam Lallana’s minutes this season.
“Obviously, he’s ended up doing quite a lot more because of the injuries but, you know, that is what the plan was for him. So, I think that’s how it’s going to work. I think you’ll see Shaqiri move on this summer, I think that that spot is then ready for Elliott.”
TIF Thoughts on Elliott…
The Liverpool man could have a big future in the sport after showing a lot of promise during his time with Blackburn, but the step up in expectations would be considerable if he does remain at Anfield next season.
Shaqiri has only made 59 appearances for the reigning Premier League champions during his time on Merseyside and is anticipated to seek more regular first-team action elsewhere next season, meaning more opportunities would be available for Elliott.
Whether the youngster is ready to play a significant part in Liverpool’s 2021/22 campaign remains to be seen, however, we’re confident that Klopp will make the right choice given how well he’s handled the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones during his time at the club.