While Liverpool are delivering on the pitch, both Mohamed Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum repaid supporters for their backing off the pitch over the weekend.
The Reds maintained their 100 percent record this season with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday, ensuring they ended the week top of the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp‘s side are now two points clear at the summit, and already head their Champions League group after beating Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night.
While the unity of Liverpool’s forward line in particular has come into question in some tabloids, this could not be further from the truth.
Underpinning their excellent form is a strong team spirit, and the characters within the squad are as crucial between games as they are during them.
Salah, who was strangely criticised for ignoring a well-known ‘fan’ while sitting in traffic in August, highlighted this with a brilliant gesture to young supporter Lewis Dunlop on Saturday:
After the Egyptian’s goal helped the Reds onto another three points, Salah left Lewis in tears of joy as he handed him his shirt.
“These are moments in life that hold more value than I can explain,” his father, Wayne, wrote on Twitter. “A day my son Lewis will never forget.”
Though a simple gesture for a footballer, it is one that, as Wayne attested, can be so meaningful for fans, telling Jamie Carragher that Lewis is now planning to send Salah a thank you letter.
Supporters can show their devotion in other ways, too, with a new phenomenon on Instagram being player-dedicated pages, documenting their best moments.
For Wijnaldum, the most high-profile fan account is @gwijnaldum1, which boasts over 13,000 followers and is run by another young Red.
Remarkably, organised by one of Wijnaldum’s associates, the midfielder made the trip up to Newcastle after the game on Saturday to pay him a visit:
“My dream has came true, I can’t thank you enough Gini traveling all this way to meet me,” the youngster wrote.
“I love you so much, you were such a lovely person to speak to and I hope to see you again very soon! How amazing.”
Going out of his way to surprise a supporter, particularly after a game in which he started and played 70 minutes, is a big indication of Wijnaldum’s quality as a person.
Both he and Salah clearly recognise the importance of the club’s fans, with this unity no doubt crucial to Liverpool’s ambitions of challenging for the title this season.