Why is Liverpool's Harvey Elliott being booed by the Fulham fans?

Liverpool and Fulham have already faced off three times this season, and there was one constant across all three fixtures: booing for Reds midfielder Harvey Elliott.

The widespread jeering during Sunday's Premier League clash at Craven Cottage left many onlookers, especially neutrals, perplexed.

From the moment his name was announced in the Reds' starting lineup, to every touch he made during the game, Elliott faced a chorus of boos. But why?

Academy graduate

The explanation for this is (relatively) straightforward.

Elliott emerged from the Fulham academy, becoming the youngest player in Premier League history at 16 years and 30 days. Liverpool quickly noticed his talent and signed him on 28 July 2019.

At that time, Fulham had just suffered relegation, while Liverpool, Elliott's childhood team, had clinched the Champions League title.

Having made only three senior appearances for Fulham, Elliott's decision to join the European champions seemed inevitable.

A bargain for the Reds

However, it's not the move itself but the circumstances surrounding it that have left Fulham fans disgruntled.

Many feel that the now 21-year-old deserted them when they needed him most, just after relegation from the Premier League.

Moreover, because Elliott was only 16 and not yet a professional, his transfer fee had to be determined by a tribunal.

Fulham supporters argue that had the talented youngster signed a professional contract with Fulham before moving to Liverpool, the club would have received a significantly higher transfer fee.

Eventually, on 10 February 2021, the Independent Professional Football Compensation Committee ruled that Liverpool would pay an undisclosed amount, later revealed by the Reds as £1.5 million, along with an additional £2.8 million in bonuses.

Yet, this record-breaking fee for a 16-year-old did little to ease the frustration of Fulham fans, who saw it as scant consolation for losing a promising talent.

Nearly five years later, they remain unwilling to let it go.

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