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Mane the MVP & Reds’ defence shines – Liverpool 2019/20 Mid-Season Player Ratings

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We are at the midway point of the Premier League season, but which players have stood out most for Liverpool to date?

Back in August, Jurgen Klopp could barely have dreamed of what we are witnessing.

Incredibly, the Reds have dropped just two points in the league in 19 matches, moving 13 points clear of second-placed Leicester with a game in hand.

On top of that, progression to the Champions League knockout rounds has been achieved, although a young team were knocked out of the League Cup by Aston Villa at the quarter-final stage.

Needless to say, countless Liverpool players have shone in the opening half of 2019/20, as league glory looks more likely by the week.

Here’s how we rate the Reds so far this season.

(NB. Players must have made a minimum of five appearances)

 

Alisson – 9

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 27, 2019: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 18 (0)
Clean Sheets: 6


It was a disastrous start to the campaign for Alisson, who injured his calf in the opening league game at home to Norwich.

The Brazilian didn’t return for over two months, and while Liverpool coped well without him he has been faultless since coming back into the team.

Whether it be his decision-making, shot-stopping ability or distribution, Alisson has been goalkeeping perfection, showing why there is nobody better in his position.

 

Adrian – 8

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 2, 2019: Liverpool's goalkeeper Adrián San Miguel del Castillo celebrates after the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Liverpool FC and FC Salzburg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 11 (2)
Clean Sheets: 2


A summer replacement for Simon Mignolet, Adrian was swiftly called into action following Alisson‘s injury.

He enjoyed a memorable first start for Liverpool, proving to be the penalty hero in the UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea.

Although one bad mistake saw Adrian gift former Reds striker Danny Ings a goal against Southampton, his performances have been largely excellent.

 

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 9

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 26, 2019: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 24 (4)
Goals: 2
Assists: 10


If last season saw Alexander-Arnold cement his status as an outstanding young footballer, 2019/20 has seen him become one of the world’s most influential players.

The 21-year-old already has nine assists to his name, producing some of the best end product ever seen from Liverpool‘s right-hand side.

Alexander-Arnold also fired home stunning efforts against Chelsea and Leicester—his performance against the latter was one of the best by any player this season.

 

Joe Gomez – 8.5

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 29, 2019: Liverpool's Joe Gomez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Roberts/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 14 (7)
Goals: 0
Assists: 0


Gomez took some time to recover from a broken leg and there were even some doubts creeping in about his long-term potential.

In the absence of injured pair Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren the centre-back has stepped up hugely, however, finding a similar level to the early months of last season.

Composed, lightning fast and oozing class, Gomez has now made that spot alongside Virgil van Dijk his to lose again.

Liverpool‘s newly adopted high line works best with Gomez in the team.

 

Joel Matip – 9

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 24, 2019: Liverpool's Joel Matip celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 9 (1)
Goals: 2
Assists: 0


It is easy to forget that Matip’s Liverpool future was in doubt this time last year, when he was arguably fourth-choice centre-back.

The Cameroonian has enjoyed a 2019 to treasure, though, and his form in the first couple of months of this season was imperious.

He was outperforming Van Dijk at times, combining confidence on the ball with an increased level of focus defensively.

Injury has ruled Matip out of action since October—the sooner he is back the better.

 

Dejan Lovren – 8

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 2, 2019: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. Liverpool won 2-1 with a winning goal in injury time. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 12 (0)
Goals: 1
Assists: 1


One of the most maligned Reds players of the decade, Lovren has impressed on the whole this season.

While there is always the potential for something disastrous to happen, the 30-year-old has produced dominant displays, often in big games.

Lovren has also found the net once, heading home against Napoli in the Champions League.

Like Matip, his injury problems continue to be his biggest shortcoming, keeping him out of action currently.

 

Virgil van Dijk – 9

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 30, 2019: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring the second goal, his second of the game, during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 28 (0)
Goals: 3
Assists: 1


What a year it has been for Van Dijk, who earned various individual awards and finished second to Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or voting.

He has continued to be Liverpool‘s most important player this season, producing immaculate performances unlike many we have seen over the years.

Sometimes, supporters are guilty of taking Van Dijk for granted, with a world-class display simply seen as the norm.

Has he been every bit as good as last season? Maybe not quite. But he has still been better than any other centre-back on the planet.

 

Andy Robertson – 8.5

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 2, 2019: Liverpool's Andy Robertson celebrates scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 27 (2)
Goals: 2
Assists: 5


Such has been Alexander-Arnold’s remarkable level, Robertson has unfairly played second fiddle to his fellow full-back on occasions.

The feisty Scot has arguably been just as key, though, bringing his usual blend of defensive nous and attacking quality to the team.

Five assists and two goals have come Robertson’s way, with his bullet header away to Aston Villa a vital moment in Liverpool‘s season.

On top of his ability, the left-back’s tenacious side has also shone through, highlighting his winning mentality.

 

Fabinho – 9

Liverpool's Fabinho (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. (PA Images)

Starts (Sub): 18 (1)
Goals: 1
Assists: 2


Before he got injured, Fabinho may have been the first name on Klopp’s team-sheet.

The South American was a monster in Liverpool‘s midfield, looking the most dominant occupier of the No. 6 role since Javier Mascherano.

While snapping into tackles, winning aerial duels and showing world-class positional sense are his greatest attributes, two assists and a superb strike against Man City have also come his way.

Liverpool have been magnificent without Fabinho, but his return still can’t come soon enough.

 

Jordan Henderson – 8.5

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 27, 2019: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring the first goal to equalise the score at 1-1 during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 23 (3)
Goals: 1
Assists: 2


Henderson started the season as a Champions League-winning captain, with much expected of him.

A slow start to the campaign saw his place in the team under scrutiny, but as time has passed, the skipper has been fantastic.

Henderson delivered emphatically in the final third against Tottenham, City and Bournemouth—one goal, two assists—before excelling back in the No. 6 role without Fabinho.

He has never felt more important to the Reds.

 

Gini Wijnaldum – 8.5

Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal of the game with team-mate Andrew Robertson during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. ( Richard Sellers/PA Wire/PA Images)

Starts (Sub): 22 (4)
Goals: 3
Assists: 0


Wijnaldum has continued to be undroppable, knitting Liverpool‘s midfield together in slick fashion and bringing so much to the team.

There have been times when the Dutchman has been quiet, but the positives have easily outweighed the negatives.

Wijnaldum’s winner at Sheffield United was fortuitous but huge, while a colossal showing in the win over City summed him up as an understated key man.

 

James Milner – 8

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

Starts (Sub): 13 (13)
Goals: 4
Assists: 4


What a signing Milner has been.

Although the 33-year-old is no longer a regular starter, he has still proved to be one of the most dependable squad players Klopp could ask for.

Hugely experienced and nerveless from the penalty spot, Milner has been so important in Liverpool‘s quest for a first Premier League title.

The stoppage-time spot-kick at home to Leicester was a particular high point.

 

Naby Keita – 8

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, December 10, 2019: Liverpool's Naby Keita celebrates scoring the first goal during the final UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 9 (5)
Goals: 3
Assists: 1


Keita’s first season at Liverpool was forgettable, if overly scrutinised, but we are now seeing what all the fuss is about.

Having overcome injury issues, the Guinean is now enjoying his best run in a Reds shirt, breaking the lines in midfield and showing invaluable off-ball work.

Three goals in as many appearances this month have highlighted his new-found confidence and he should only get better now.

 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 8

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)

Starts (Sub): 12 (9)
Goals: 5
Assists: 0


After such a horrible time with injuries, Oxlade-Chamberlain found some promising form before his latest setback.

Bringing dynamism to the middle of the park, the 26-year-old has an impressive five goals to his name this season, including an outrageous finish away to Genk.

His ability to run at pace through the middle scares opponents and his unpredictable nature has made him a perfect foil for more trustworthy team-mates around him.

He brings something that Liverpool‘s other midfielders do not, which will be vital once he makes his comeback.

 

Adam Lallana – 7.5

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 19, 2019: Liverpool's Adam Lallana celebrates scoring a late equalising goal to level the score 1-1 during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 6 (8)
Goals: 1
Assists: 2


Lallana is not the player he once was and Liverpool have moved on without him in many ways.

Having said that, he deserves great credit for some much-improved performances this season, both on and off the ball.

His late equaliser away to Man United preserved the Reds’ unbeaten record and he laid on the assist for Sadio Mane‘s winner against Wolves.

A leader off the pitch, too, it is understandable why Klopp has kept hold of Lallana.

 

Xherdan Shaqiri – 7.5

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 4, 2019: Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 234th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 3 (6)
Goals: 1
Assists: 0


Shaqiri looked to have been cast aside completely this season, with a general feeling that Klopp didn’t trust the Swiss tactically.

He was given a chance to shine against Everton, though, and he enjoyed a superb evening, scoring the second goal in a 5-2 triumph.

Injury is currently keeping Shaqiri sidelined, but when he is fit he is a great option from the bench.

That hair transplant is working wonders!

 

Mohamed Salah – 8.5

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)

Starts (Sub): 26 (0)
Goals: 13
Assists: 7


Salah is a strange player.

So often this season, his touch, passing and general decision-making have left plenty to be desired, yet he has remained a huge influence.

Only Mane has scored more than Salah, and he has looked far better in recent weeks.

Perhaps we expect too much sometimes, or maybe Mane has simply eclipsed him, but this has still been a strong opening four months from the Egyptian King.

 

Sadio Mane – 9.5 (Half-Season MVP)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 10, 2019: Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 24 (3)
Goals: 14
Assists: 11


Mane has been Liverpool‘s Player of the Season so far and is favourite to be crowned PFA Player of the Year, too.

The Senegalese has played at an extraordinary level this season, with arguably only Messi a better forward currently.

Mane has dragged Liverpool through games in which they have toiled, especially at Villa, when he assisted and scored in the dying minutes.

The Reds’ No. 10 has the bit between his teeth more than any other player and he is truly world class.

 

Roberto Firmino – 8

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 17, 2019: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 24 (5)
Goals: 8
Assists: 9


Until recently, Firmino’s rating would have been lower.

After a great opening month—who else has forgotten about that assist against Newcastle?—the Brazilian’s form dipped noticeably, with goals drying up and a post-Copa America malaise setting in.

Firmino has roared back to life, thankfully, proving to be the hero in the Club World Cup semi-final and final, before bagging a brace away to Leicester.

Still the man who makes Liverpool tick more than anyone, Bobby remains as important as ever.

 

Divock Origi – 8

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 30, 2019: Liverpool's Divock Origi (R) celebrates scoring the fourth goal, to level the score at 4-4, with team-mate Rhian Brewster during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starts (Sub): 8 (16)
Goals: 5
Assists: 2


Move over David Fairclough, you have been overthrown in the ‘Greatest Liverpool Sub Of All Time’ stakes.

Origi etched his name into Reds folklore last season, but he has proved that his ability to make things happen as a substitute was no fluke.

The Belgian has always looked a threat when he comes on, but he was also excellent starting in the thrashing of Everton and epic League Cup clash with Arsenal, scoring four times over those two matches.

At 24, Origi is still maturing, and he looks an increasingly effective player by the week.


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