Liverpool: Ranking the squad that delivered the Premier League title player-by-player

Liverpool have secured their first-ever Premier League title and a first English championship win for 30 years.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have been the dominant team throughout the entirety of 2019/20, racing to the top of the table with an eight-game win streak at the start of the season. From there they drew once against rivals Manchester United—then embarked on an astonishing 18-game winning run, before a first defeat of the season came at Watford in February, their 28th league game of the campaign.

The Reds needed just six points to seal the title when the football season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but returned to complete the job and claim a first title since 1990.

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It means the club are current reigning champions of their domestic league, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup, a phenomenal haul earned across the last 13 months.

Here are how the players in Liverpool’s squad ranked across the course of the 19/20 Premier League season, including all 23 players who have played at least once in the competition.

23. Harvey Elliott

The 17-year-old was only signed last summer and it’s a sign of his quality that he has already featured first the first team. More to come in future.

22. Curtis Jones

Another young talent who is slowly being integrated, Jones has already shown flashes of immense talent and will push for more game time next term.

21. Xherdan Shaqiri

A disappointing second campaign at Anfield for the Swiss winger who has been beset by calf injuries all season long.

20. Takumi Minamino

The January arrival has been eased into the team and will surely play a more prominent role next term.

19. Dejan Lovren

Inconsistency has been a hallmark of his time at Liverpool, and flashes of that were seen this season, but he also put in a few performances closer to his solid best. Largely a backup this season.

18. Divock Origi

The Belgian striker has been regularly called upon off the bench, thus played a fairly prominent role in terms of appearances. Much of them were cameos though, or resting opportunities for the starters.

Origi’s biggest impacts came in the first half of the campaign, with a goal against Norwich on the opening day and a brace in the derby against Everton.

17. Adam Lallana

One of Klopp’s first lieutenants after arriving at Liverpool will depart this summer, after a season spent playing something of a mentor role to the club’s younger players.

He did, however, significantly prolong the Reds’ unbeaten start to the season with his late equaliser at Old Trafford in October.

16. Naby Keita

Has shown in several spells why Klopp rates him so highly, but injury and inconsistency has been an issue. Will want to make a far greater impact next season and should really be a regular starter.

There is still much more to come from Naby Keita, but he played his part this term.

15. Joel Matip

Injury prevented him from making more appearances, but Matip has always been reliable and solid when called upon at the heart of Liverpool’s defence.

Particularly excellent against Arsenal and Chelsea earlier in the season.

14. James Milner

A versatile and competent performer, implicitly trusted by Klopp to do whatever job is required at different stages of the match: make the midfield more solid, spark the team into action, bring an element of aggression or just run down the clock.

Most frequently called upon as a sub, but his standout game was a 90-minute showing against Leicester in October where he laid on the first goal, then scored an ice-cool 94th-minute penalty to secure a 2-1 win.

13. Adrian

Played far more than he would have expected to, due to injury and suspension to first-choice Alisson Becker.

Adrian produced a few heroics domestically, including keeping a couple of clean sheets in away wins at Burnley and Sheffield United. As reasonably consistent as could be hoped for from a free transfer backup ‘keeper.

12. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Having made a complete recovery from injury, Oxlade-Chamberlain has seen his game time become more consistent the longer the season has gone on.

Used both in midfield and the forward line, his ability add a few goals from deep has been a welcome re-addition to Klopp’s armoury and he has played a vital role throughout the campaign, with good consistency.

11. Fabinho

A campaign split into thirds, almost, for the Brazilian.

He was absolutely phenomenal in the first part of the season, the rock of Liverpool’s midfield and a very consistent performer, before an injury sidelined him for two months and led to inconsistency on his return.

Thereafter he returned to his usual impressive level and key role in the side, part destroyer in front of the back four and part facilitator to get the team moving.

10. Gini Wijnaldum

An almost ever-present for Klopp, Wijnaldum isn’t always the flashy and spectacular player, but he rarely puts the team in danger, constantly helps win back possession and will fill any required tactical role.

A great goal in the first derby of the season and a fortunate winner against Sheffield United kept Liverpool on track early on in the season.

9. Joe Gomez

Injury meant he didn’t play quite as frequently as he might have done, but Gomez has been near-immaculate in every game he has played.

A brilliant partnership at the back with Virgil van Dijk sees him read the game well, use his recovery pace to great effect, bring the ball out of defence with frequency and win his defensive battles. Would have been even higher had he played more games.

8. Alisson Becker

Another like Gomez: excellent in the matches he has appeared in, but has missed a few too many to go any higher. An injury left him sidelined in the first months of the season and a red card saw him miss out too, but despite those absences Alisson is in the running for the Golden Gloves once again.

That only serves to highlight his consistency, his quality and all-round assurance, as the Premier League’s finest goalkeeper.

7. Andy Robertson

A critical component of the team for both his defensive tenacity and attacking output. He’s such a reliable performer that Liverpool don’t really have a direct and natural cover for him, and his game-to-game consistency is impressive, too.

Another season where he has just fallen short of his fellow full-back in the team in terms of their assists competition—but which has him way out ahead of any full-backs who don’t play at Anfield, highlighting his world-class delivery.

6. Roberto Firmino

Utterly integral to the team in a tactical sense, Firmino might not get the goals that a typical No. 9 would look for, but he contributes in every other way above and beyond the very highest standards.

An inimitable blend of flair, work rate, technique, stamina, creativity and the ability to produce at key moments, Firmino is Klopp’s king of the attack. He was utterly outstanding in the early months of the season.

5. Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool’s most crucial outlet in build-up play. He’s the playmaker-in-chief, counter-attacking threat and set-piece maestro, all from right-back.

He’s also got the best cross in the Premier League, as his record haul of assists for a defender attests to. Liverpool without Trent Alexander-Arnold is becoming extremely hard to imagine, and there’s a noticeable drop-off in productivity when the Scouser is not in the side.

4. Mohamed Salah

On a minute-to-minute performance and form basis, Mohamed Salah might have had his best season in a Liverpool shirt—but his productivity remains off the charts and he’s in the running to land a third consecutive Golden Boot award.

The Egyptian forward remains a goal machine, a single-minded force in the final third who has scored big goals against the likes of Tottenham, Man City, Man United, Arsenal, Watford and West Ham to take the Reds toward the title this season.

3. Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson, Premier League-winning captain—it’s the ultimate vindication and response against anyone who has written him off and criticised him over the years, a list which is rather longer than it ought to be. If Firmino is Klopp’s tactical weapon, Henderson is the manager’s voice of discipline, standards and demands on the pitch.

The Liverpool skipper has elevated himself among the club’s greats, both with his successes on the pitch and his behaviour and contributions to the community off it.

2. Sadio Mane

While Salah has more goals, Sadio Mane’s all-round performance level was nothing short of sublime for the vast majority of the season.

The Senegalese attacker has the mix of creativity and work rate, guile and penetration which allows him to play any role across the attack, be a key figure in unlocking stubborn defences and net vital winners when all seems lost.

His match-winning strikes this term include an injury-time effort at Aston Villa, the only goal of tight games against both Wolves and Norwich and the clincher in a 3-2 comeback over West Ham—all were worth an additional two points apiece to the Reds’ eventual tally. Over and over again, Mane came up with the goods when Liverpool needed it most.

1. Virgil van Dijk

Top of the pile is Virgil van Dijk, utterly reliable and exemplary in both performance and availability.

Liverpool might have the most points, but they have also conceded the fewest goals; despite injury absences to his defensive partners, the defensive midfielder in front of him and even the goalkeeper behind him, the Dutch defender has been the immovable rock which opposition forwards have all too often failed to bypass.

His organisation and directing of his team-mates is as valuable as his actual technical defensive work, which itself is unparalleled domestically or abroad. The world’s best central defender has played a full and magnificent part in Liverpool’s rise to the top of the footballing tree over the past couple of years and his consistency marks him out as perhaps the most single important component of this entire championship-winning team.

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