In fullHarvey Elliott interview | 'It's my club - there's no better place than playing for Liverpool'
Harvey Elliott is aiming to create more memories at his boyhood club after signing a new long-term contract with Liverpool.
The No.19 put pen to paper on fresh terms at the AXA Training Centre on Thursday to extend his spell at the Reds, which began in 2019.
Elliott has made 22 senior appearances so far, having stepped up into Jürgen Klopp’s first-team ranks last season following a successful loan spell at Blackburn Rovers.
He helped Liverpool to two major trophies in the 2021-22 campaign, netting a penalty in the Carabao Cup final shootout and aiding the Reds’ Emirates FA Cup triumph.
Elliott is now hoping to have an even bigger impact for Klopp’s men in the coming seasons at Anfield. Watch our chat with the 19-year-old in the video below, or read on for the full transcript…
Watch in full: Harvey Elliott on signing new LFC deal
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Harvey, congratulations on signing a new long-term deal. It must be an incredible feeling to get this done?
Yeah, definitely. I think it’s more memories at this club, which is always a great feeling. It’s always nice to know that I’m going to be here for many more years, which is always a great thing with it being my boyhood club and there is nothing in this world that makes me more happy and more excited than this.
It’s a year on from your last new contract, which you signed after that great loan spell at Blackburn Rovers. Does this one feel any different?
Definitely. I feel like it’s, not more pressure on me, but it’s more of a situation where I’m sort of more of a first-team player in a way than last year because obviously [I was] coming back from loan and I didn’t play in the first season I joined as much as I have done in this past couple of years. So yeah, it feels more of a contract now and a first-team contract in terms of me and how it’s going to run in these next couple of years. I’m just very excited to keep putting on the shirt, to keep playing. I’m so excited and I just can’t wait to get out there again.
It’s been a rollercoaster journey for you since you arrived here three years ago, it’s had a little bit of everything…
Yeah, it has done, to be fair. It’s been a big rollercoaster for me and my family and even for the club. So much has happened in the years that I have been here. We’ve already won so much and hopefully we can win so much more, so just to know that I am going to be here for a long time again, as I said it’s always a wonderful feeling for myself and my family being Liverpool supporters, so there is no better place in this world to be than playing for Liverpool and to put the shirt on and go out and play for the team and the fans. I’m hoping there are many more memories to come with it but I’m just so excited to put pen to paper and stay here for a lot longer.
You have mentioned that you are a Liverpool fan – does that bring pressure when you move here from a different club?
I think so. It was just more the pressure of meeting everybody, I mean obviously going from watching them on TV and watching your idols play for Liverpool on TV to meeting them in person, it’s a whole different situation and for me I would say I was more scared than [feeling] pressure, to be honest. It was just one of them, from watching Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson on TV to actually sitting by them or standing next to them, to this day I pinch myself [to see] if it’s real. I wouldn’t say it was more pressure but more scared and excited because obviously I wanted to show them that I was an OK football player and wanted to sort of get their help, and obviously they’ve been brilliant since I first joined. So to be here with them now and to share more pitches and to be on the pitch with them for a few more years, it’s amazing for me.
What’s different from the 16-year-old who arrived here to the 19-year-old you are now?
More mature, I would say. I’ve had more experience playing professional football and men’s football. I mean, the love for the club was already there from the start, it’s just how I apply it and show the fans and show the club how much it means to me and just wanting to go out and 100 per cent work for the team, work for myself and for the fans, just give it my all. That’s been my drive over the past couple of years since being here because I knew how big of a club Liverpool is but to see the fanbase all around the world… I think Asia just topped it off for me and no matter how far away they are from England, Liverpool is just loved all around the world. So to be able to have this fanbase, there is no better place to be and to play for… it’s just unbelievable experiences that last a long time for myself and my family and as I say, I hope there are more to come.
The senior players have been very important in getting you accustomed to being a Liverpool player…
Yeah, definitely. I mean, even to this day when they could think ‘He is one of us now’ they are always looking after me, they are always helping me out, helping me be a better player and a better person, which is what you need in the club. You come here to be a better player but at the same time you want to grow as a person, you want to grow as a human being. The gaffer and the coaching team and the players, there are no better people to learn from and look up to in this world than these players. I want to have a career as some of these players have, I want to play as many games as some of these players have. If you look at Millie, I think he’s the oldest in the team and he is still going strong and probably the fittest in the team. He’s just a prime example of what this club brings and the human beings around here so yeah, it’s unbelievable to be around these players and these people and they have helped me a lot along the way.
Is there a standout example that a certain player has done, or somebody that has taken you aside in a session and offered you that bit of advice?
To be honest, all of them have done it. They’ve all helped me along the way. But I think I’d say more Salah and the skip, to be fair – Hendo. Just because I’ve been playing on that right side now, it’s more kind of in their positions and around their playing qualities. So, for me, it’s them two have helped me out and brought me aside and said you need to do this, or you can try this. Especially Mo, he’s always giving me different things to work on. He’s always telling me to follow him in training or follow him in the gym so he can help me out along the way and stuff. I mean, everyone, as I said, has done it in the journey so far and they’re all willing to help whoever. Whether it’s Milner, who is the oldest here, to the youngest player in the team. It’s one of them, no-one feels left out and everyone is here to help them out and bring them up.
Does this feel like the biggest season of your life? They all will, but this season in particular?
I think so. I think for myself, personally, I have a lot to prove and the team has a lot to prove. Last season, unfortunately, we didn’t win the Prem or the Champions League. We were so close to doing it, it was unfortunate for us, but I think for the team and myself it’s a big season. It’s always going to be a big season. No matter where you go in your football career a season is going to have a lot of ups and downs and a lot of pressure. It’s just down to you whether you can handle it and make sure you perform under this pressure, especially at Liverpool. It’s such a big club, there’s world-class players around the team so there’s no room for slacking or not performing to the best of your abilities, so there’s always that in the back of my mind. At the same time, it’s always a pleasure and it’s always a dream of mine to play for Liverpool so that’s why I’m always trying to give 110 per cent and always trying to go that extra mile just to give to the fans [and] show how much Liverpool means to me and how much I care about this team.
You say you have a lot to prove, what is behind that? Is it the pressure that comes with being a Liverpool player, or is it looking back to the injury?
I think a bit of both, to be honest. The pressure of being a Liverpool player for starters – it’s one of the best clubs in the world, if not the best. So, people just assume that everyone is [a] world-class player, which they are. With that comes a lot of pressure. And, yeah, with the injury. Obviously I started off the season well and then the injury came, and I wasn’t really at my best. Just for me personally, I want to get back to my best. I want to make sure I can show the world and show Liverpool and everyone involved that I can still play and the injury has passed me and I’m feeling 100 per cent. It’s a big season, I’ve just got to make sure that if the opportunities come, I just need to take it and just enjoy it as well. The injury came and I was in a dark place and a bad place, so it’s just not taking those opportunities for granted and making sure I take them with both hands and perform to the best of my ability.
The medical team all spoke about your injury and how tough you were. It must’ve been difficult, but it was all about achieving this eventual dream of becoming a first-team regular...
You have bad days throughout the injury. There were days that were a lot harder than other days, but I think for me personally it was just accepting the fact that it’s happened and nothing can change it. I think that got me through it a lot. The coaching staff here and the players were all behind me and my family and friends. Just to know I had that support behind me helped me a lot. It was a bad time but for me it’s an opportunity so that I know being so young and able to get through it and, touch wood it doesn’t come in the future, I’m able to get through it again, which I’ve done before. Just to sort of have that mental state to know I’ve been through it and been through a bad injury to be able to get through it and get to the other side and still play football. For me it’s big and it’s sort of motivation if it happens again just to know I’ve done it and I can do it again.
You’ll have dreamt about that moment you had scoring in front of the Kop when you came back. It must’ve been a confidence boost for you...
It’s a crazy story in all fairness. To do it on my first game back at Anfield in front of the Kop end, it’s no better place to score your first Liverpool goal. There’s hopefully many more to come this season and I’m going to be working on it to try to score and create as many goals this season. But yeah, to be able to do it in my first game back from injury it’s unbelievable. I didn’t really know whether to celebrate or just burst out crying but I think I held it in until after the game. Hopefully many more of these opportunities and dreams of mine come true – scoring in front of the Kop at Anfield. I’m just buzzing for the season and can’t wait.
Three years in now, you must be excited about what’s ahead to come in a Liverpool shirt...
Hopefully my career ends here. This is why I’ve come here, to be honest, just to make sure I establish myself in this team and play as much as I can for Liverpool. That’s all I want to do, I just want to put the shirt on, go out and play and just enjoy myself because at the end of the day I was playing in the back garden as a kid in a Liverpool shirt. [I was] scoring goals and pretending to be these players and now I’m playing with them. It’s memories I want to write myself and look back on in years to come and think, ‘Yeah, what a dream’ and happy that I’ve dreamt my dream and achieved it.
Finally, what happens to the appetite to win more trophies once you’ve tasted that success?
You just want to keep doing it. You just want to keep having these celebrations. Obviously we won the Prem in COVID. As good as it was, it wasn’t the same to not be able to celebrate with the fans. For me, personally, it touched my heart just to go out and do it again in whatever competition it is – Community Shield, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, Premier League. It’s all of us and we all want to win it. No matter how hard it gets throughout the season, how many games we have to play, we always want to go out and give it our best and give it back to the fans and celebrate these opportunities and these achievements with the fans, which we have done with the Carabao Cup and FA Cup – you see the parade at the end of last season. For us, we all said after, it’s motivation to go and do it again this season. We want to do it all and win it all again but it’s just down to us to make sure we work hard and be the best we can be and make sure we get in those positions that we can win stuff.