4 players who need to step up for Liverpool’s top-4 push

Twelve games to go, a gap to bridge and consistency to find, Liverpool’s push for a top-four spot is in its final stretch.

Six games at Anfield and six on the road, that’s all that remains of what has been a topsy-turvy season that few anticipated.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side have lacked consistency and now have only one target to salvage the season, securing Champions League football for next season.

Liverpool are currently seven points adrift of the current fourth-placed occupiers in Tottenham – but have two games in hand over Spurs.

But who do Liverpool need to see more of in the run-in to stand the best chance of giving themselves a clean slate for 2023/24?


Trent Alexander-Arnold

MADRID, SPAIN - Wednesday, March 15, 2023: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg game between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Madrid won 1-0 (6-2 on aggregate). (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s been a tough season for the right-back, who has just three assists so far and has been defensively culpable on one too many occasions.

He’s crying out for competition and a rotation option but this season is surely just a blip. After a break over the international period, though, there is an opportunity to start an upward trajectory.

Liverpool thrive on his creativity and deliveries, and a boost in his confidence with one solid performance after another will only serve to get the results the Reds need.

Get the basics right and go from there.


Diogo Jota

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 25, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This list isn’t a hit list of underperforming players but rather game changers that can see Klopp’s side reach their target, and Diogo Jota is one that fits the bill.

Injury has seen him miss 24 games this season and while he rightly has needed time to get back up to speed, what Liverpool need from him is goal contributions.

Not since April 2022 has Jota found the net for Liverpool, a drought that he will, no doubt, be feeling.

Only three players have goals in double figures and just four have more than Luis Diaz‘s four strikes – let’s not forget he has missed 28 games and that figure could still rise.

The load needs to be shared and Jota’s contribution can be key.


Jordan Henderson

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 4, 2023: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson looks dejected after the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Wolves won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Stefan Bajcetic now ruled out for the remainder of the season and Thiago not expected to immediately set the world alight after, at least, an eight-game absence, Jordan Henderson‘s role has become all the more important.

Klopp has rotated his captain in and out of the side and the rest has proven beneficial for when he is selected in the XI, a balance that must continue to be sought despite the personnel available.

Henderson’s key value is his leadership and while certainly polarising among the fan base, he still has plenty to offer the team. Consistency ought to be his target.


Virgil van Dijk

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 1, 2023: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That those outside of Anfield are pointing the finger at Virgil van Dijk and looking for any weaknesses only serves to remind us of the level he has continually operated at.

The Dutchman continues to emphasise he is ‘not a robot’ and is simply ‘human’, a timely reminder as any drop below his world-class standards has quickly become apparent.

A symptom of the much larger issue at play at Liverpool, but an imperious Van Dijk in a partnership with Ibrahima Konate can provide the foundations for the top-four push.

Full commitment and confidence are required.