Harvey Elliott has stood out for Rovers this season – and that started from first showing his quality in a pre-season fixture for Liverpool against them last June.

Rovers were then beaten 6-0 at Anfield, a first match back after lockdown for both sides, with Elliott a second half substitute. The fixture came as part of a blossoming relationship between the two sides which, four months later, saw Elliott sign a season-long loan deal at Ewood Park.

Since then he’s featured in all 33 Championship fixtures and with 10 assists, has the joint-most in the division, to go with his five goals. It has led to much talk about what the future holds for the 17-year-old who has already featured in the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup for his parent club.

Stewart Downing is at the opposite end of his career, 20 years older than his Rovers team-mate, but says the maturity of the teenager’s play has been one key factor that’s impressed him.

He told Goal: “We played Liverpool during lockdown last season, and he came on. He only played half an hour, but he stood out with his maturity, how he played.

“He does the simple things well, and it sounds mad to say that because people think that’s easy, but a lot of young kids don’t do that.

"The manager has probably had to protect him a bit and look at games where he can rest him, but the problem is, he’s been our go-to man. And that’s made it pretty hard to leave him out.

“Even when he has a ‘quiet’ game, he is still our most creative player.”

Goal listed Elliott as one of their NXGN talents, one of the world’s top 50 wonderkids, with the teenager currently away with the England Under-19s squad alongside Rovers team-mate Taylor Harwood-Bellis.

Elliott faces a tough task to break into Liverpool’s fabled front three, but he has time on his side, as well as the trust of manager Jurgen Klopp.

But Downing, who has played much of his career in the top flight, believes Elliott is destined for the top.

“From what I’ve seen up to now, he’s going to be in the Premier League for sure,” Downing explained.

“He knows better than anyone that he has a big job on his hands to get into the team.

“It’s one thing doing it at Blackburn, but we are talking about a team that wants to win Premier Leagues and Champions Leagues. Liverpool have to challenge, and Harvey has to get Mo Salah out of the team.

"He’s got the quality, and playing with better players will bring the best out of him. And Klopp obviously likes him, so he has a chance.”