InterviewTyler Morton on Blackburn loan, development and Harvey Elliott's advice
Tyler Morton is following a path taken by Harvey Elliott as he makes the next step in his professional career.
Morton, a product of Liverpool's Academy, is savouring every moment and learning curve from his season-long loan at Blackburn Rovers.
It's the club at which Elliott said showed him 'what real football is like' when he took the Championship by storm during a stint in 2020-21.
"I spoke to him quite a lot, to be honest, about Blackburn because I'm very close with Harv," Morton reveals during a catch-up with Liverpoolfc.com. "I had the conversation before I took the move – and Leighton Clarkson as well – and they were just saying how good the lads are and how tight-knit the group is. I've come in straight away and the lads just bounce off each other.
"I got a lot of advice off him and I appreciated that he was very honest with me; he's my good mate so I know he was going to be. I took his advice with me and it's paying off."
Like Elliott found, Ewood Park is offering a perfect environment for Morton to continue developing both as a footballer and person.
Morton earned nine appearances in Liverpool's first team during 2021-22 – featuring in all four competitions Jürgen Klopp's Reds played in.
Now, the consistent opportunities for Jon Dahl Tomasson's Rovers – 22 outings so far for the team currently ranked third in the Championship – are proving beneficial.
"It took a while to fit in and just adapt to everything that was happening, because I have been at Liverpool since I was four or five and that's all I knew really," he says.
"So I knew it was going to be a tough challenge for me. But I'm really enjoying it. That's what I like – I like tough challenges and it has definitely been one of them.
"I'm really happy where I am at the moment and the strides I'm taking. Hopefully I take more.
"It's a lot different to what I experienced in the Champions League and Premier League. I got a lot more time on the ball and it relaxes you a little bit, the players you're playing around are world-class and will get you out of anything, to be honest.
"Coming here as well, it's full of top-class players and that's what I've noticed, the Championship has got world-class players but it's a lot different, it's 100 miles an hour.
"It's tough, especially the intensity everyone plays at, it's different. And it's game after game, there's no break, it's tough.
"But I feel like I've adapted to it now, but it took me a while when I first came in and it wasn't easy at the start. Now that I'm starting to play and starting to find my feet, it's a lot easier and I'm really enjoying it."
Regular game time and development helped Morton earn his first call-up to the England U21s set-up back in September.
Discussing his loan with Liverpool Academy manager Alex Inglethorpe recently, Morton told him he'd 'learned more in 20 games than a year of U21s games'.
"It has been great," the midfielder assesses. "I have come in as still a young lad but don't feel like it, I feel like I've quite a bit of experience under my belt. It was nice.
"Especially now that I'm starting to play games week in, week out and I've played quite a lot so far, I feel more experienced and more like I can deal with the pressure.
"This has been a big test for me, as I said, and I think I've taken it well and I continue to do so. But obviously it takes a lot of hard work and dedication because it's not an easy league.
"As the games come at you thick and fast, it's just dealing with that and how your body can deal with it. I'm still adapting but I do feel more experienced and ready."
The relatively short distance between Blackburn and Merseyside allows Morton to stay extremely close to his parent club.
He's been spotted at the Kirkby Academy at various points, watching Barry Lewtas' U21s as an interested and invested spectator.
Morton finishes: "They're my friends so I like to see them, I go and visit every now and then to see the games and see how they're getting on.
"Whenever they're on telly, I try to watch the games. Just to stay in touch with my mates – not just my teammates but my friends as well. It's nice to see them doing well, the U21s are doing very well at the moment.
"I go and watch the first team because I'm a Liverpool fan. It's pretty basic, but that's why: I love the club."