To say Harvey Elliott has had a successful season on loan at Blackburn Rovers would probably be an understatement. The 17-year-old winger has scored five goals and racked up 10 assists for the Championship side this season, and he’s earned near-universal praise for his play in the process.
So, some Liverpool fans were quite upset to learn the English starlet was left on the bench in each of Blackburn’s last two matches. It appeared to many to be a consequence of a mistake by Elliott that led to the lone goal in their 1-0 loss to Reading on March 2nd.
However, manager Tony Mowbray insisted that the talented winger has been on the bench simply because he needed a break from the grind of the 46 match Championship season.
“I took him out of the side because he’s played a lot of games on the bounce, and at 17 you can’t expect him to keep going, every game 90 minutes, he needs to be given a rest,” said Mowbray.
The Blackburn manager made no mention of Elliott’s error versus Reading and even went on to heap praise on the Liverpool loanee for the creative spark he has provided despite his youth.
“You have to put into context that he’s 17-years-old. I know he’s come from Liverpool, one of the powerhouses of European football, but he’s assisted and scored and been very creative for our team and been a huge positive and made a huge impact at our football club.”
“He’s done extraordinarily well for us.”
Though Elliott missed out on the previous two matches, Mowbray wouldn’t confirm if the winger would be in the starting XI for their match against Brentford, choosing instead to hint that changes were possible considering the club’s hectic schedule.
“Without giving the team away we’ll assess where everybody is, for some this will be the fourth game in 10 days and we have to assess whether they can keep rolling or whether we need to make some changes.”
Blackburn’s match against Brentford is in the second half at the time of this writing, and Harvey Elliott did not make the starting lineup. He did, however, enter the game as a half-time substitute for Ben Brereton.