Trent’s influence proved & the key stat in United draw – Monday’s Liverpool FC News Roundup

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We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Monday, following a frustrating afternoon against Man United.

Today’s Main Headlines

Trent’s Vast Influence Highlighted

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 9, 2019: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t feature against United, as he continues to work his way back to full fitness after injury.

The 20-year-old’s influence has actually been downplayed by some, but Liverpool’s success with and without him this season makes for eye-opening reading.

According to Anfield Index’s Under Pressure podcast, the Reds have averaged 2.5 points per game with him in 2018/19, compared to 1.58 when he is unavailable, averaging out to a 95-point season compared with a 60-point campaign:

They have also scored more and conceded fewer goals when he has been on the pitch, with xG also showing what a key man he has become.

Alexander-Arnold’s surging runs and underrated defensive qualities were missed on Sunday, with James Milner struggling at right-back in his place.


Damning United Statistic

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 24, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah looks dejected during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool were a long way short of their best against United, failing to spark at any point and often looking less urgent than their opponents.

Writing in the Liverpool Echo, analyst Andrew Beasley highlighted how ineffective the Reds were in front of goal.

They managed just seven shots in total at Old Trafford—their joint-fewest this season, along with both matches against Man City.

To sum up the difference between Liverpool’s performance on Sunday and at home to United, they had 36 attempts in their 3-1 win back in December—their most in 2018/19.

The quality in attack simply must go up a gear in the coming weeks or Jurgen Klopp‘s side will find it tough to hold off City.


Key Advice for Loan Star Kent

Rangers' Ryan Kent celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at the Hope CBD Stadium, Hamilton (Jane Barlow/PA Wire/PA Images)

Ryan Kent has been a roaring success on loan at Rangers this season, so much so that Steven Gerrard is reportedly keen to sign him permanently.

But speaking to BT Sport before Rangers’ 5-0 win at Hamilton on Sunday, former winger Kevin Thomson singled out Kent’s one current shortcoming:

“He’s just a player that picks up the ball and he’s always on the front foot. He’s always thinking about going past people. He’s always trying to make things happen.

“The one criticism, which isn’t a big thing, I just think he’d personally want to chip in with some more goals. He’s only got five goals.

“He’s a terrific young talent and I’m sure the manager will want to keep him.”

Kent has five goals in 27 appearances for Rangers this season, which does back up Thomson’s claim, even though it is not a record to be ashamed of.

Better end product should only come with age.


A 20-Year Deal for Awoniyi?

Mouscron's Taiwo Awoniyi celebrate after scoring during the Jupiler Pro League match between KAA Gent and Royal Excel Mouscron, in Gent, Friday 24 November 2017, on the day 16 of the Jupiler Pro League, the Belgian soccer championship season 2017-2018. BELGA PHOTO JASPER JACOBS

Taiwo Awoniyi’s time at KAA Gent didn’t work out and he is now plying his trade on loan back at Royal Excel Mouscron, where he is in a rich vein of form.

Mouscron defender Mergim Vojvoda has lauded the Nigerian’s brilliance, pointing out the reason he never shone as brightly at his former club and even joking he should be offered a ridiculous deal.

“He should stay with Mouscron all his life, we have to offer him a 20-year contract,” Vojvoda told L’Avenir.

“He is an excellent player with great qualities, I think he didn’t succeed at KAA Gent because he got a role in which he always stood in the box.

“Taiwo is an attacker who uses his pace and chases the ball everywhere”.

Awoniyi scored the only goal in Mouscron’s 1-0 win over Lokeren on Saturday night—his fifth in six appearances since rejoining the Belgian club last month.


UEFA Youth League Date Announced

The date for Liverpool U19s’ UEFA Youth League last-16 meeting with Dinamo Zagreb has been announced, with the match taking place on Tuesday, March 12.

The game kicks off at 1pm (GMT) at Hitrec-Kacijan in Zagreb and is a one-off affair.

The young Reds are looking to at least match their efforts from last season, when they were beaten on penalties by Man City in the quarter-finals.

Klopp’s senior side visit Bayern Munich the following day, in the second leg of their Champions League clash in Germany.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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