Liverpool have made a great start to the season and during the month of August landed themselves a trophy as well as starting with four straight league wins.
It couldn’t really have gone much better so far for the Reds, with just the penalty shoot-out defeat to Man City in the Community Shield a potential negative in terms of results.
Aside from that, and injuries to Alisson and Naby Keita, it has been a hugely promising start; the Super Cup was won against Chelsea, while the Premier League has seen three points taken from Norwich, Southampton, Arsenal and Burnley.
The international break now puts a temporary halt on that good start, so it’s time to assess who has been in the frame early on for Jurgen Klopp‘s team, who has played a big part and made the key contributions—and take a first glance at the youth sides, too, after they were both reshaped over the summer.
Most appearances: 6 – Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Roberto Firmino, Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson.
Minutes: 570 – Virgil van Dijk; 559 – Mo Salah; 540 – Andy Robertson; 500 Roberto Firmino.
Goals: 4 – Sadio Mane; 3 – Mo Salah; 2 – Joel Matip, Roberto Firmino; 1 – Virgil van Dijk, Divock Origi.
Assists: 3 – Roberto Firmino; 2 – Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold; 1 – Virgil van Dijk, Divock Origi, Fabinho, James Milner, Sadio Mane.
Shots (league only): 17 – Roberto Firmino; 13 – Mo Salah; 7 – Sadio Mane; 6 – Andy Robertson; 5 – Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Key chances created (league only): 14 – Trent Alexander-Arnold; 10 – Sadio Mane; 9 – Mohamed Salah; 6 – Fabinho; 5 – Andy Robertson.
Interceptions (league only): 7 – Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk; 6 – Joel Matip; 4 – Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane.
Tackles (league only): 13 – Fabinho; 9 – Sadio Mane; 8 – Jordan Henderson; 6 – Andy Robertson; 5 – Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The influence of Firmino and the two full-backs, Alexander-Arnold and Robertson, can be seen throughout these stats in both offensive and defensive work.
It’s unsurprising that they feature so prominently, given the expectations and responsibility placed in them each by Klopp—and maybe that shot count means we’ll see the full-backs on the scoresheet sometime soon this season!
Twelve players have played 300 minutes or more so far, with the rest of the squad between zero (Dejan Lovren) and 186 (Origi), highlighting how a small group has been mainly utilised thus far.
Into September and beyond, we can expect to see a shift toward much heavier squad involvement and rotation across three competitions, as the Champions League and League Cup both get underway.
U23s & U21s
Most appearances: 5 – Elijah Dixon-Bonner, Curtis Jones, Neco Williams, Yasser Larouci, Harvey Elliott; 4 – Tony Gallacher, Morgan Boyes, Pedro Chirivella, Adam Lewis, Rhian Brewster, Sepp van den Berg.
Top scorers: 2 – Rhian Brewster; 1 – Curtis Jones, Neco Williams, Harvey Elliott, Pedro Chirivella, Luis Longstaff.
Most assists: 3 – Curtis Jones; 1 – Pedro Chirivella, Morgan Boyes, Adam Lewis
Three defeats and a single win in the Premier League 2 means it hasn’t been a great start in terms of results for the U23s—and they lost in the EFL Trophy group stage, too.
End product from the likes of Brewster and Jones will be confidence-boosters, particularly if they hope for senior side inclusion in the domestic cups in the coming weeks.
It has, in fairness, been something of a settling-in period to start the season with—several players had pre-season with the first team, while others such as Ryan Kent and Bobby Duncan began the campaign with the U23s before leaving the club.
Most appearances: 4 – Leighton Clarkson, Ben Winterbottom, Jake Cain, Remi Savage, Layton Stewart, Matteo Ritaccio, Thomas Hill, James Norris.
Top scorers: 4 – Layton Stewart; 3 – Thomas Hill; 2 – Jake Cain, James Balagizi; 1 – Remi Savage, Matteo Ritaccio, Niall Brookwell, Fidel O’Rourke.
Most assists: 5 – Jake Cain; 3 – Leighton Clarkson, Matteo Ritaccio; 1 – Layton Stewart, Thomas Hill, Niall Brookwell.
Three wins and a draw for the U18s so far in the U18 Premier League, and plenty of promising signs of play even outside the end results.
Late victories against Man United and Stoke, and a stoppage-time equaliser against Wolves, all hint at the maturity and mentality of the players, just as much as the quality.
The midfield duo who were part of the side last year, Cain and Clarkson, have really begun this season in scintillating form.