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Fabinho & Mane soar as new trio emerges – Ranking Liverpool’s 10 best players in October

October was another month to treasure for Liverpool with five wins and a draw, but which player stood out from the rest throughout that period?

The month started in nerve-shredding fashion, with the Reds blowing a three-goal lead at home to Salzburg, before eventually winning 4-3.

James Milner‘s stoppage-time penalty then earned Liverpool a priceless 2-1 victory at home to Leicester City, before a frustrating 1-1 draw at Man United after the international break.

Genk and Tottenham were seen off in the Champions League and Premier League respectively, and October ended with a penalty-shootout win over Arsenal in the League Cup fourth round, following a crazy 5-5 draw.

Here’s how we rank Liverpool’s top 10 players for the month—September’s star man Joel Matip doesn’t even feature, having only made one appearance.

 

10. Gini Wijnaldum

GENK, BELGIUM - Wednesday, October 23, 2019: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between KRC Genk and Liverpool FC at the KRC Genk Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances: 5
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
September Ranking: N/A
Differential: N/A


Naby Keita came close to making the cut prior to a poor showing against Arsenal, while Jordan Henderson‘s form hasn’t been good enough to justify being in the top 10.

Similarly, Alisson has only been back for three games, not yet keeping a clean sheet.

October was far from a standout month for Wijnaldum, but he ticked along and did a job in the middle of the park.

There were times when more was required, with the safe option too often taken in possession, but his off-the-ball work played a part in an unbeaten month.

 

9. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

GENK, BELGIUM - Wednesday, October 23, 2019: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (L) celebrates scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between KRC Genk and Liverpool FC at the KRC Genk Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances: 3
Goals: 3
Assists: 0
September Ranking: N/A
Differential: N/A


Oxlade-Chamberlain has taken a huge step forward in recent weeks, showing exactly what he can offer as the season progresses.

The 26-year-old scored three goals in as many appearances, all of which came from outside the penalty area.

The outside-of-the-foot effort away to Genk is arguably Liverpool’s goal of the season so far, while his stunner against Arsenal on Wednesday wasn’t far behind.

His performances have been far from perfect, but Oxlade-Chamberlain’s progress has been encouraging.

 

8. James Milner

Liverpool's James Milner (left) celebrates scoring a penalty vs. Leicester (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Appearances: 4
Goals: 2
Assists: 1
September Ranking: N/A
Differential: N/A


What a footballer Milner continues to be, playing such a key role in this Liverpool squad.

Although not always a starter in October, the veteran was worth his weight in gold, not least with his nervelessness from the penalty spot.

His last-gasp spot-kick against Leicester was a huge moment in the Reds’ season, while his assist for Sadio Mane earlier in the game was magnificent.

Milner’s bad error on Wednesday allowed Ainsley Maitland-Niles to put Arsenal 4-2 up, but that was a rare negative for him during the month.

 

7. Virgil van Dijk

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 27, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates with team-mate Virgil van Dijk (L) after scoring the winning second goal from a penalty kick during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances: 5
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
September Ranking: 5
Differential: -2


Everyone expects such an unrivalled level of brilliance from Van Dijk that there is shock if he drops slightly below it.

October wasn’t the Dutchman’s best month in a Liverpool shirt, but compared with most centre-backs he was still very good.

He was partially to blame for James Maddison’s goal at Anfield, however, and was part of a defence that failed to keep a single clean sheet.

Van Dijk hasn’t looked as comfortable without Matip alongside him.

 

6. Andy Robertson

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 2, 2019: Liverpool's Andy Robertson (L) celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Liverpool FC and FC Salzburg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances: 5
Goals: 1
Assists: 1
September Ranking: 7
Differential: +1


Robertson made a relatively slow start to the season, but he really clicked into gear in October.

He finished off a magnificent team move against Salzburg—only his second Liverpool goal—and vitally assisted Adam Lallana late on away to Man United.

Robertson’s marauding runs down the left flank have been typically effective and his linkup play with Mane has been a joy to watch.

The Scot has also been defensively sound—there isn’t a better left-back in the world.

 

5. Roberto Firmino

GENK, BELGIUM - Wednesday, October 23, 2019: Liverpool's Sadio Mané (L) celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mate Roberto Firmino during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between KRC Genk and Liverpool FC at the KRC Genk Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances: 5
Goals: 0
Assists: 3
September Ranking: 3
Differential: -2


Firmino may not have scored in October, keeping his goal tally to a rather meagre three for the season, but there is so much more to his game than that.

Liverpool’s eccentric Brazilian registered three assists in total, all of which came in the Champions League, with one outrageous rabona pass not finished off by Mane in Genk.

The 28-year-old remains as good as ever and his intelligence and selflessness are so vital to everything the Reds do.

A poor showing at Old Trafford proved that when Firmino is off-colour, so are Liverpool, such is his importance.

 

4. Mohamed Salah

GENK, BELGIUM - Wednesday, October 23, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between KRC Genk and Liverpool FC at the KRC Genk Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances: 4
Goals: 4
Assists: 1
September Ranking: 9
Differential: +5


There were times in October when Salah’s performances left fans frustrated, not least his consistently erratic use of the ball.

Then again, the Egyptian scored four goals in as many games and also picked up an assist, proving just how devastating his end product remains.

Salah got the all-important winner at home to Salzburg, which could be vital come the end of the Champions League group stage, and also fired home the match-winning penalty against Spurs.

Even when Salah isn’t at top gear, he contributes more than most attacking players.

 

3. Trent Alexander-Arnold

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 27, 2019: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances: 4
Goals: 0
Assists: 1
September Ranking: 8
Differential: +5


While it certainly wasn’t Alexander-Arnold’s most productive month in terms of statistics, there’s more to football than numbers.

The 21-year-old is an outrageous talent and he showed that throughout October, producing displays more akin to Kevin De Bruyne than Dani Carvajal.

His energy and quality down the right-hand side played a big part in Liverpool enjoying such a positive time of things and his passing against Spurs was out of this world.

Alexander-Arnold’s one assist, which allowed Robertson to score against Salzburg, was a lovely moment involving the Reds’ world-class full-back pair.

 

2. Sadio Mane

GENK, BELGIUM - Wednesday, October 23, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) celebrates scoring the fourth goal with team-mate Sadio Mane during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between KRC Genk and Liverpool FC at the KRC Genk Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances: 5
Goals: 2
Assists: 0
September Ranking: 6
Differential: +4


Mane has been Liverpool’s best player in 2019, and he is showing no sign of slowing down in that respect.

A couple of goals against Leicester and Genk highlighted his ruthless finish ability and he also won vital penalties at home to the Foxes and Spurs.

Firmino and Salah aren’t always finding their top level this season, but Mane is performing to an elite standard almost every week.

The Senegalese has been unplayable, with no left-sided attacking player in world football superior.

 

1. Fabinho

Fabinho of Liverpool (Image: Darren Staples/Sportimage via PA Images)

Appearances: 5
Goals: 0
Assists: 1
September Ranking: 2
Differential: +1


For all Mane’s brilliance, Fabinho was Liverpool’s star man in October.

The Reds’ No. 3 is a colossal footballer who is possibly as important as anyone currently, mastering the defensive midfield role.

Monstrous in the tackle and classy on the ball, Fabinho has put together a string of fantastic performances.

His showing against Spurs on Sunday was one of the most complete by a Liverpool midfielder in years—there is nobody better in the world in his position.

The Reds’ star man in 2019/20 to date.

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