4 things we’ve learned from Liverpool’s start to the season

The international break has forced a pause to Premier League proceedings, affording us the chance to assess Liverpool’s start to the campaign and who has stood out.

The Reds started the new season with a draw at Chelsea, a result Jurgen Klopp did not appear too fazed by but perhaps ought to be in hindsight.

Three successive victories followed, albeit with red card drama in two of them, to extend their unbeaten run in the league to 15. The longest in the division.

We might only be four games deep but we have learned plenty from Klopp’s Reds…


We got a real gem in Szoboszlai

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 2, 2023: Liverpool's Dominik Szoboszlai celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is a sign of the times that £60 million is viewed as a bargain, but that is exactly what it feels like when it comes to Liverpool’s new No. 8.

Dominik Szoboszlai has settled in without delay, immediately showcasing what the Reds had been missing in the No. 8 role when it comes to fresh legs, energy and intensity.

Per FotMob, the 22-year-old is Liverpool’s second-highest rated player so far (7.65) behind only Mohamed Salah (7.68), with the midfielder quickly showing he is one of the Reds’ hardest-working players.

Joint-second at Anfield for expected assists (0.5) and successful dribbles per 90 (1.8), he is a dual threat with his ability on the ball matched by his relentlessness off it.

It is early days but the No. 8 shirt looks to have found a player ready to take up the mantle of a previous owner, Steven Gerrard.


Alisson proves why he is the best… again

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 13, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker reacts during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is astounding that during the international break we have seen Alisson snubbed for two awards, despite clearly being the world’s leading goalkeeper.

He needn’t take long to showcase that this season either, need we remind you of that brilliant save at Newcastle? Incredible.

The Brazilian may not have wished to be tested as much as he has this season, with Liverpool still very much susceptible to conceding chances, but he has been more than up for the task.

A save percentage of 85.7 percent is the highest of any Premier League goalkeeper, ahead of next best Alphonse Areola of West Ham and Tottenham‘s Guglielmo Vicario (80 percent).

He saves Liverpool time and time again, but perhaps moving forward we could return to the days of relying on him less. Just a thought.


Creators to the right

Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold have established a connection on the right flank going on seven seasons now, and the addition of Szoboszlai to the mix has elevated Liverpool’s right side.

Of course, Alexander-Arnold’s new role allows him the flexibility and freedom to roam beyond the right wing, but it is the abovementioned trio that have played a role in six of the Reds’ nine goals.

Salah (two goals, two assists), Szoboszlai (one goal) and Alexander-Arnold (one assist) have been instrumental in having a scoreboard impact.

The trio take the top three spots for chances created for the Reds so far (23 combined).

Only four games deep into the season, it is an exciting development and Liverpool will welcome all contributions from their No. 8 after lacking goalscoring contributions from that position in recent years.


A timely reality check

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 13, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We had 35 percent possession, which is an absolute joke. That should not happen,” Klopp said on reflection of the opening day draw at Chelsea.

Of course, this was only the first match and there was bound to be growing pains, but not since the 2-2 draw against Tottenham in 2018 had Liverpool recorded a lower possession percentage.

While the subsequent possession percentage would be influenced by two red cards, Liverpool have averaged over 56 percent in the three games since the trip to Chelsea.

Klopp conceded his side were in “too much of a rush” at Stamford Bridge, and it was the early shake up the Reds needed to settle them into the season and ensure they play the way they intended.

They are currently averaging 13 shots on goal and 4.3 shots on target, the latter still needs to improve but it has been following an upward trend since the first matchday.

There are positive signs when it comes to what Liverpool are capable of this season, and the hope will be that their goal threat continues to grow as their reliance on Alisson decreases.

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