Arne Slot can take advantage of Jurgen Klopp's biggest Liverpool regret

Feyenoord boss Arne Slot is set to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool

Throughout his time in charge at Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has never been one to harbour regrets. But, not for the first time during his Anfield career, Harvey Elliott is proving the exception.

Reflecting on Elliott's man-of-the-match performance against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, Klopp admitted the youngster had merited more minutes during the second half of the season.

Indeed, that it was only a ninth Premier League start for Elliott underlines how, despite starting all bar two of Liverpool's 20 cup games this season, he has regularly been overlooked in the top flight.

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It's not for the lack of impact, given there have only been four league games where he hasn't at the very least emerged from the bench. He's the only player to feature in every matchday squad and has been absent from just one since the trip to Aston Villa in May 2022. Instead, Elliott's ability to play in a number of different positions has perhaps counted against him and made it difficult to nail down a place in his preferred role on the right of the midfield triumvirate.

The competition there is arguably more fierce than anywhere else on the pitch. Dominik Szoboszlai has been the chief starter in the position, but Ryan Gravenberch has also featured while Alexis Mac Allister has occasionally filled the role. All three arrived last summer for a combined £130million. It also hasn't helped that the position in which Elliott has otherwise been more regularly used, on the right of the attack, Mohamed Salah is the clear first choice.

But the numbers tell the real story. Elliott has created more goals than any other Liverpool midfielder this season and, ahead of this weekend's penultimate round of games, Manchester City duo Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri were the only two Premier League players to have provided more assists in 2024.

Factor in his performances for England under-21s and Elliott has 24 goal contributions this season. While Klopp was right to sidestep talk on Friday about the player being called up to the senior England squad for the Euros, it's obvious Elliott has now outgrown the age group for his country.

Elliott has been at Liverpool for approaching five years having been snapped up as a 16-year-old from Fulham in July 2019. And it's worth remembering he is younger than Jarell Quansah and only three months older than Conor Bradley, both of whom only made their genuine first-team breakthroughs this season.

All three also reverted a trend where being sent out on loan was often the death knell for a burgeoning career at Anfield. Quansah spent part of last season at League One side Bristol Rovers while Bradley had the entire campaign in the division with Bolton Wanderers.

Elliott, meanwhile, spent a season in the Championship at Blackburn Rovers in 2020/21 where he made 42 appearances. Considering in that campaign and his lengthy absence the following season through injury, it's testament to his growing importance at Liverpool that he has now made 117 appearances for the club. Curtis Jones, who is two years older, has made just 14 more outings.

However, 54 of those 117 games have been from the bench, compared to 63 as a starter. Opening the gap in favour of the latter number will surely be Elliott's main aim next season - and ensuring the incoming Arne Slot has no regrets should he put faith in his still-growing talent.