There’s been plenty of praise and excitement for Liverpool’s play, so far this season. On their day, they could probably break down a Tony Pulis bus with three tiers.
Klopp’s attacking quartet have been taking the plaudits, but who is the most vital out of that foursome to the Reds and any potential success?
The fluidity of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield is what makes them so dangerous, and noticeably, there is a strong variance between contributions to goals. Liverpool’s quartet of Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, alone, have scored 27 goals between them. Magical.
It’s refreshing for Liverpool fans, the days of being referred to as a one-man team are gone. The current squad – with a few tweaks – can easily compete for the title.
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Liverpool fans will have missed this man. Coutinho is fulfilling his potential – he’s always had plenty of class, even when he couldn’t shoot for toffee. Now he actually can hit the target, he is of course an easy choice to call Liverpool’s most dangerous player. However, is this the case?
Well, Raheem Sterling must have been distraught after that – he knew a GIF was coming. But what this actually shows is that Firmino can often match Liverpool’s magician for flair. But also, so can Adam Lallana. There’s no disputing the flair of these three; they’re agile, skilful and entertaining to watch. However, whilst this trio have amazing feet, there is a slight lack of pace. None are particularly fast – which is why Liverpool’s most valuable player is Sadio Mane.
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The Senegalese has been sensational, this season, with nine goals and four assists. At his current form, he could produce one of the best debut seasons ever in a Liverpool shirt. Mane gives a similar feel to Luis Suarez – when he has the ball, something is expected to happen. £36million well spent.
Mane is Liverpool’s most valuable player. He offers something different, a more direct attacking route when a team is happy to let you have the ball in front of them. Whilst Liverpool can replenish a loss of flair through absence, there is nothing which can replace the Senegal forward’s pace.
We would often see a rapid player with a woeful end product; Mane escapes this category. Sometimes, the only thing that can force a stubborn team to break shape is to make dangerous runs in behind or force a player to commit – there’s no disputing that Coutinho can do the latter – but it is aspects of Mane’s game which will be missed more by the Reds. Other than his ridiculous handball against Sunderland, he’s been fantastic this season.
But as the Brazilian magician returns, the African Cup of Nations comes calling for Africa’s Messi. Typical.
Liverpool’s greatest ever teenage goalscorers
Michael Owen – The King of Cool himself, Michael ‘White Noise’ Owen was the previous record holder before Woodburn’s goal against Leeds. Owen’s first came on his debut against Wimbledon in 1997 and he went on to such career highlights as his World Cup wonder goal against Argentina, playing for Real Madrid in the Galácticos era and bullying that teenage goalkeeper on Michael Owen’s Soccer Skills, eliciting the timeless "Well done, he's 13" from Neville Southall in the process. Image Source: Twitter
The most recent of Liverpool’s teenage scorers before the Leeds game, Sterling’s name had been heard in dimly lit bars all over Merseyside following his incredible form for the youth team, and he confirmed the hype with a well-taken far post finish to give Liverpool a 1-0 victory over Reading in 2012. Image Source: Twitter
"I'm sat in the chair and she's gone round me and she's started placing her hands all over my head, all over my arms, all over my shoulders and she said I had two demons inside me, which was not bad because Gazza had five – I was happy with that.” This is a quote from Robbie Fowler about going to see infamous mystic, Eileen Drewery. Like Gazza, Fowler was never far away from controversy during his career, but had immense talent to match. Image Source: Twitter
Perhaps an unexpected addition to the list, Carragher went on to score only three goals in 508 games for the club. He may have had an illustrious career with the Reds, but to find him in a goalscoring list wedged between such legendary names as Robbie Fowler and Florent Sinama-Pongolle is surprising. Image Source: Twitter
Here he is: A man who brings a wry, nostalgic smile to Premier League fans and takes them back to halcyon days before Anthony Le Tallec became the new Zinedine Zidane. Sinama-Pongolle scored just four days after his 19th birthday to help Liverpool beat, funnily enough, Leeds. He then took the typical route up the footballing ladder, enjoying spells at Atlético Madrid and Sporting CP before securing a dream move to Dundee United and later Chainat Hornbill FC. Image Source: Twitter
It’s hard not to live in the shade of your father when he is both famous and as shady as ‘Arry, but Jamie Redknapp managed to make a name for himself. He was regarded as Liverpool’s – and England’s – next big thing when he got a winner against Chelsea in September 1992. Injury curtailed his impact on English football, but did he win an FA Cup, make millions, marry Louise and then secure a cushty punditry role at Sky; it’s not all bad, is it? Image Source: This is Anfield
Probably the biggest hero the Kop has ever had, which takes some doing when you think of all the greats to have played on Merseyside. His recent retirement means all the superlatives have already been recently used, but this is probably the player Woodburn grew up hoping to emulate. Perhaps Gerrard will even be tutoring the youngster if, as rumoured, he returns to the club in a coaching capacity. Image Source: Twitter
Through a quirk of David N'Gog being the oldest teenager to have scored his first goal for Liverpool, we’ve managed to save you the best until last. They say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, so I’ll stop there rather than tell some long, imagined success story about Ngog’s career. Things didn’t really take off. Image Source: The Anfield Wrap