Liverpool told it could have its own Martin Ødegaard who Arne Slot can further unlock

Liverpool attacking midfielder Harvey Elliott during the Europa League game against Atalanta.

When Arne Slot takes over at Liverpool this summer, he will inherit a group of players that is ready to be moved to the next level. All across the team, there are stars ready to take the next step, from those who might change position (Trent Alexander-Arnold and Cody Gakpo) to those who are at the right age to propel forward (Jarell Quansah, Dominik Szoboszlai and more).

Harvey Elliott falls into both categories. Despite him having now played more than 100 times for Liverpool, Elliott is still very young and he would have played even more were it not for the serious injury he sustained against Leeds United that kept him out for around five months between 2021 and 2022.

There remains a debate to be had over where his best position (midfield or the forward line) will end up being but there is already a leading Premier League player that Elliott can model his game on. In Arsenal's Martin Ødegaard, there is something of a template for the Liverpool man to work towards within his own side's system.

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"When you get into certain positions on a pitch, you have pictures," former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves said while working as a pundit for Premier League Productions over the weekend. Elliott scored a superb goal from the edge of the area where the ball arrowed into the top corner and put in a sensational performance.

"If you are there, left-footed, he is going to whip that to the back post," Hargreaves continued. "I love Harvey Elliott. I think he could be like an Ødegaard for Liverpool. I don’t see him as a wide player. I see him central.

"When he gets into here (the number 10 role), he gets a picture. The top players do. He knows ‘I am going to whip that into the top corner’. It sounds easy and he made it look easy. It’s a brilliant finish from a fabulous young player. Absolutely fabulous."

The goal was far from the only thing that Elliott did well against Spurs. He won the ball back with a good bit of pressing on Emerson Royal and then crossed perfectly for Cody Gakpo to head home. Elliott was near perfect on and off the ball.

Liverpool attacking midfielder Harvey Elliott scored a screamer against Spurs.
Liverpool attacking midfielder Harvey Elliott scored a screamer against Spurs. -Credit:Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Ødegaard, alongside Phil Foden who has already picked up the Football Writers' award, is probably the leading contender to win the PFA Premier League Player of the Year award this season for his incredible performances. The Arsenal captain has 11 goals and nine assists during the current campaign and that is something of a benchmark, even if the Norwegian will likely improve those numbers again in the years to come.

Elliott's four goals and nine assists need to improve further but having only turned 21 last month, that is a pretty good base from which to be starting from. Ødegaard, at the same age, was around a year away from moving to Arsenal and was still working his way around a couple of different loans out from Real Madrid.

While he needs to score and assist more often to progress to the next level, Elliott's underlying numbers are incredible. According to FBref, compared to other attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe's top five leagues he is in the 97th percentile for progressive passes and the 91st for both shots and assists.

Dominik Szoboszlai is the most statistically similar player to Elliott, according to the same data tool, while Ødegaard is the fourth-best match (behind Lazio's Luis Alberto and Bochum's Kevin Stöger). İlkay Gündoğan, Nicolò Barella and Bernardo Silva also feature in Elliott's top 10 most similar players, which is no bad company to be in.

It is Mikel Arteta's talisman Ødegaard that Elliott has the best chance of replicating, though. Assuming that Slot sticks with a three-man midfield, Elliott should be eyeing up making the right-sided berth his own — the numbers suggest that he certainly has the talent to be able to do it.