LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 23, 2023: Liverpool's Dominik Szoboszlai during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Dominik Szoboszlai concedes he ‘might have set the bar too high’ in debut season

Dominik Szoboszlai has conceded he may have “set the bar too high” for his debut season at Anfield, with an impressive start to the campaign preceding a drop in output.

The Hungary captain arrived last summer and instantly impressed with the energy and impetus he injected into the midfield, something Jurgen Klopp‘s side had been severely lacking.

Szoboszlai started all but eight of the first 29 matches before injury struck, with two separate spells out with the same hamstring injury keeping him sidelined for 10 games.

He hasn’t been quite the same since, and that can be said of a number of players who returned from injury, with the No. 8 completing 90 minutes just twice since the start of March.

Having started the campaign well before dropping off, Szoboszlai has acknowledged that his expectations for his first season at Liverpool may have been higher than was realistic.

“Perhaps I set the bar too high because I think there were certain matches where I couldn’t bring out the best in myself,” he said in an interview with MLSZ TV.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 21, 2024: Liverpool substitutes Dominik Szoboszlai, Curtis Jones and Alexis Mac Allister warm-up during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. Liverpool won 3-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Or there are times when you don’t play well and in some people’s eyes you’re the worst player on the pitch, but it is not a problem because we get through these things together.”

Szoboszlai has thick skin when it comes to criticism, evidently, and he is clearly self-aware when it comes to dips in his performances.

As for what the 23-year-old had to learn quickly after moving from Leipzig to Liverpool, he said: “The (Premier League) is quicker, here you don’t have as much time to think as in the Bundesliga.

“Here you really need to know what you’d like to do with the ball before you receive it because if you don’t, you pretty much have no chance.”

And if players are exhausted, as Szoboszlai has appeared to be in recent weeks, the ability to do just that clearly becomes harder!

With two games to go, Szoboszlai has made 43 appearances this season to date with a return of seven goals and four assists, and it will be intriguing to see how Arne Slot uses him in 2024/25.