Virgil van Dijk has urged Harvey Elliott to be more patient regarding his lack of starts for Liverpool after providing two assists in Saturday's win over Burnley. The Reds youngster came off the bench to help the hosts claim all three points after Dara O'Shea's equaliser had cancelled out Diogo Jota's opening goal.
Elliott provided assists for Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez in the second half, with the 20-year-old's influential showing the latest in a string of impressive performances off the bench. Earlier this season, he insisted that he did not want the reputation of a 'super sub' for Liverpool, saying: "It’s a great headline, a nice one, but at the same time I want to be in the team
"It’s time for me to establish myself in that position again and hopefully get a good run of games. But I need to be patient and maybe be the super-sub as well. I need to keep enjoying my football, play with a smile and if it’s as a super-sub, then fine, I’ll happily come on and do whatever I can for the team. I am just happy to be putting the shirt on but this season I really want to kick on my game."
Van Dijk went on to offer some advice to Elliott after the full-time whistle against Burnley, urging him to bide his time and keep impressing off the bench to put himself in contention for regular starts.
"It’s very important for these guys that when they have their moments, Harvey in this case, they grab them with both hands. We need them," said the Dutchman.
"Even if you start on the bench, you have to be ready to make an impact. This was a great example of that again. He [Elliott] would love to be playing week in, week out, but playing at the highest level you also have to be patient and don’t be frustrated that you don’t play as sometimes it is part of the business."
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Elliott has only started three league games for Liverpool this season, with the vast majority of his 20 appearances coming off the bench. He is clearly a valued member of the squad, though, and remains more than capable of influencing things in a positive way when he is called upon to deliver at important moments.
The midfielder doubled down on his desire to start more games as he reflected on his display against Burnley, saying: "I want to be starting and that’s my goal. I want to get back in the team and kind of cement my spot, but I’m just more than happy getting on the pitch first and foremost, whether it’s off the bench or starting.
"I’m just happy to put the shirt on and go out and play, especially at Anfield. It’s down to me to try to make a difference. That’s why I’m coming on, that’s kind of my role in the team, that’s why I’m here today."