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2RYCDW4 Tyler Morton of Hull City during the Sky Bet Championship match Hull City vs Plymouth Argyle at MKM Stadium, Hull, United Kingdom, 30th September 2023 (Photo by Ryan Crockett/News Images)

Liverpool have ‘one of the world’s most press-resistant midfielders’ out on loan

The ability to keep the ball under pressure is paramount at Liverpool, and one of their young midfielders out on loan is among the best performers in that area.

It is safe to say that, over Jurgen Klopp‘s almost nine-year stay on Merseyside, the term ‘pressing’ has become one of the most commonly used in football.

When Klopp arrived, every supporter became familiar with the phrase gegenpressing – or counterpressing – and the speed with which his sides win the ball back is crucial.

But over time, the ability to hold onto the ball under pressure has become equally as important, with Gini Wijnaldum the press-resistant poster boy.

In a study by the CIES Observatory, ranking the most press-resistant midfielders in the top 28 leagues worldwide, Tyler Morton ranked higher than any Liverpool player.

Morton, who is currently on loan at Hull, has a rate of 86.9 percent ball retention under high pressure.

That is the 74th highest around the world, but the margins between Morton (86.9%) and the top five of Darlington Nagbe (93.4%), Rodri (92.1%), Frenkie de Jong (91.8%), Toni Kroos (91.8%) and Granit Xhaka (91.6%) are fairly slim.

Furthermore, the 21-year-old is the third-youngest player in the top 100, behind only Paris Saint-Germain’s Warren Zaire-Emery (87.1%) and Barcelona’s Gavi (87.1%).

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 21, 2021: Liverpool's Tyler Morton during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Surprisingly, no other Liverpool player makes it into the top 100, though the list is padded out by players in MLS and leagues in the likes of Mexico, Sweden, Ukraine, Denmark, Croatia and Switzerland.

Morton signed a new long-term contract last January, during an impressive loan spell at Blackburn, and has taken a step up this season at Hull.

There is a sense that, despite being sent out on loan again, he is being earmarked for a potential role in the first team at Liverpool.

Whether that will change upon Klopp’s departure – for better or worse – remains to be seen, but whoever arrives to take over as manager will no doubt be eager to watch Morton train at the very least.