HomeFootballLiverpool: 5 hits and flops of the season

Liverpool: 5 hits and flops of the season

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After getting so close to winning the Premier League title last season, Liverpool eventually missed out on the trophy by a solitary point. Instead of getting deflated, Jurgen Klopp lifted his troops, who are producing a truly fascinating story in the 2019-20 campaign. 

After 29 matches, the Reds have racked up 82 points, tasting defeat just once in the Premier League this season. They need just two more wins to lift the league title for the first time in over three decades. 

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Much of the credit for their eventual triumph must go to the players, whom Klopp calls “mentality giants”, as they put up brilliant displays week in, week out. 

On the other hand, a few Liverpool players have failed to hit the ground running this season. Without further ado, let’s take a look at Liverpool’s hits and flops of the season.

#5 Jordan Henderson (Hit)

The fact that skipper Jordan Henderson, despite his heroics, features in the bottom half of this list, speaks volumes about the exploits of those in the upper half. 

But take nothing away from the England international as he’s been a crucial cog in Liverpool’s dominance in the Premier League this season. He has so played 25 matches, scoring three goals as well as setting up five more for his teammates. 

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The 29-year-old is extremely versatile, and he’s the kind of leader every manager would love to have in the dressing room. 

Henderson is one of the most underrated players in the Premier League, rarely getting the attention which he perhaps deserves. The former Sunderland man though, won’t mind it, as long as he can get his hands on the coveted Premier League trophy which the Liverpool players and fans have come to crave for so long. 

#4 Adrian (Flop)

Before that infamous Champions League game against Atletico Madrid, few would have put Adrian in the category of a flop. At most, he’s been a utility player in Alisson’s absence, but his mistakes have cost Liverpool dearly. 

Just a few weeks before Atletico dumped the Reds out of the Champions League, the Merseyside giants were still alive and kicking in three major competitions, and Adrian had played his part in it. Besides conceding three times against the Spanish outfit, Adrian also let in two goals versus Chelsea in an FA Cup game as Liverpool crashed out of the domestic cup competition.

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The 33-year-old custodian took part in 11 matches in the Premier League, managing just two clean sheets. Adrian conceded 10 goals during his shift between the sticks, not an impressive tally by any means. 

The worst though came in the Champions League, where he let in eight goals in just three matches, which effectively sums up his struggles. As a result, the Spaniard’s time at Liverpool won’t be looked back upon with much fondness. 

#3 Sadio Mane (Hit)

The Senegalese forward has had his most productive season in a Liverpool shirt so far. He accounts for almost 34% of the goals that the Reds have scored this season, proving to be a terrific presence on the left-wing. 

Mane has played 38 matches across all competitions, and he’s chipped in with 18 goals and 12 assists. 

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The 28-year-old averages 1.6 key passes and  2.1 dribbles per game, and he has been named the Man of the Match on 7 occasions, the most for any Liverpool player this season. 

Keeping the stats aside though, Mane’s pace and clinical finishing are a few aspects of his game that make him a defender’s nightmare. 

#2 Naby Keita (Flop)

A player who was supposed to be at the heart of Liverpool’s engine room, Naby Keita has mostly had to warm the bench this season. He’s played just 18 matches across all competitions, contributing three goals and one solitary assist. 

The Guinean midfielder was a highly regarded prospect in his Bundesliga days, but he hasn’t settled down on Merseyside as of yet. Injuries have played a big part in that, but since 2018, Liverpool fans have only seen his brilliance in flashes. 

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Keita has the ability to contribute in both attack and defense – he has a pass success rate of 89.6% and has completed 1.7 dribbles per game.

The 25-year-old also averages 1.9 tackles per game, so it becomes evident that the talent is there, he just needs a consistent run of matches to fulfil the initial promise. 

#1 Virgil van Dijk (Hit)

What more can be said about Virgil Van Dijk, apart from the fact that just six months after arriving at Liverpool, he helped the team to a Champions League final. Albeit they lost that game, one year later, the Reds finally got their hands on the continental honour.

Van Dijk has single-handedly transformed Liverpool’s fragile defence into an impenetrable fortress. He has been ever-present since moving to Merseyside, making his critics, who called him over-priced, eat their own words. 

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This season alone, the 28-year-old has made 41 appearances across all competitions, the most by any Liverpool player. He has scored four goals, provided two assists, and has helped the team shut out opposition attacks countless times.  

Van Dijk has been such an influential presence that it’s hard to imagine Liverpool’s success with him. 

All stats courtesy: Transfermarkt.com

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