The 2020/2021 season has been tough. as 2020 has been. Pandemic times, no fans in the stadium, injuries galore. Watching our club play is perhaps one of the few sources of happiness we have in life. The players have been working hard, playing week in and week out, and we couldn’t we more grateful. Especially our players. In this article, I am going to rank the performance of our players so far this season.
Some were harsh, some were easy enough. Scroll down to see what ranking your favourite players have managed to get.
(Top 25 only)
25. Divock Origi
Cult hero Divock Origi, like Adrián, has somewhat fizzed out. He is not particularly shambolic, but he is not good either. His last league goal for Liverpool came against Newcastle at the last league game of 2019/20. With the arrival of Diogo Jota from Wolves, Origi has gone further down the pecking order, failing to prove his worth in the limited appearances he was handed out by the gaffer.
24. Kostas Tsimikas
Brought in as Robertson’s backup, Tsimikas has been nothing but promising ever since his Liverpool debut against Lincoln City. But, he is a backup after all, Andrew Robertson’s backup no less, giving him only a handful of appearances which land him at 24th spot. Injured along with Diogo Jota since early December.
23. Rhys Williams
The 19 year old academy graduate was thrown into the first team after Liverpool’s third injury at the centre back position came when Fabinho came off in the Midjitlland home match, clutching his hamstring. Although his Champion’s League debut came out of the blue, Williams did well. But, he is just 19 years old after all, plus, inexperienced, not quite upto the standard of a Liverpool first team centre back yet. He has done enough to earn 23rd spot.
22. Nathaniel Phillips
Another emergency centre back option. The 23 year old Englishman was given his Premier League debut vs West Ham at home, putting in a MOTM performance. He had a solid game at Brighton as well. But, as is the case for so many, just a handful of appearances hindered his way towards the top of the rankings.
21. Caoimhin Kelleher
Injuries have been raining down on Liverpool F.C. this season like no other club. Alisson, one of them. The Brazilian has already been injured twice this season, Adrián deputizing for the first spell of time Alisson spent on the injury table. However, with trust in Adrián evidently evaporating rapidly, Irish youngster, and academy graduate, Kelleher was handed his Champion’s League debut against Ajax Amsterdam, where he put up a MOTM performance, getting a cleansheet as well. Few days later, he got a cleansheet on his Premier League debut against Wolves. Although exciting, again, a case of limited appearances failed Kelleher to get a higher spot in the rankings.
20. Virgil van Dijk
If I read this article last season, or even in August, I would genuinely be outraged. Virgil van Dijk, our unbeatable Dutchman, at 20th position? Unfortunately, it is so, and none of it due to Virgil’s own fault. With only 7 games in 2020/2021, van Dijk can’t really be pushed up anymore. His season ending injury on 17th October ensured that. In the 7 games he played, he was more than just solid, but, alas, that was the end of the Virgil show for this season.
19. Neco Williams
The Welshman, another academy graduate, had a season of ups and downs so far. Solid games against Ajax and Aston Villa (FA Cup) being the ups and the poor game at the Amex being a down. However, he is just 19, and only improving. 19th seems fair.
18. Takumi Minamino
It’s safe to say that Takumi Minamino is still finding his Liverpool legs since signing for the Premier League champions in December 2019. He’s had good games, a brace against Lincoln City, a first Premier League goal in his sides 7-0 demolition of Crystal Palace at Selhurst, but, that is all. He has failed to give us a better impression, not getting enough minutes is one of the few reasons. Minamino lands on 18th position (just like his shirt number).
17. Naby Keita
Such a baller. Makes such a difference every time he plays. But, cursed with injures. Naby Keita has been brilliant whenever he steps on the pitch, but, the keyword is “whenever”, which is not often this season. Liverpool massively miss him as the midfield’s creative unit, and do well whenever he is fit. If only he could keep fit, he would be in the top 10.
16. Xherdan Shaqiri
Another great player plagued by injuries, his calves letting him down so often. Almost always makes a difference off the bench, examples being the West Ham and Villa (again, FA Cup) game, where his introduction immensely changed the game. With 1 goal and 3 assists in all competitions, Big Shaq occupies the 16th spot.
15. Joe Gomez
Losing Virgil van Dijk was more than a massive blow to Liverpool. They didn’t just lose a defender, they lost a leader figure in defense as well. I was massively impressed by the way Joe Gomez stood up to the occasion on Virgil’s absence, being faultless more often than not. Surprise, surprise, he got injured too, and is out for the season as well. 15th it is then. Sigh.
14. James Milner
Mr. Reliable! 35 years old and still going strong! James Milner has been getting less appearances this season, but whenever he gets one, he puts his heart into it. Left back, right back, midfield, Milly really is everywhere.
13. Trent Alexander-Arnold
An unexpected ranking, one which might get me some backlash. As much as I want to put him higher, I simply can’t. Trent has noticeably not been upto his usual standards this season, focusing more on his defensive work. He is not producing the same numbers as he used to. Injuries aren’t helping and, as Klopp said, maybe getting COVID in pre-season has affected him more than other footballers, but, if I want to keep the rankings fair, the scouser in our team will have to do with 13th. For this half of the season only.
12. Curtis Jones
Another young scouser, who only seems to get better and better each time he plays. With 3 goals and 2 assists, Jones had already matched his goal tally from the entirety of 2019/20. Bold, brave going forward, Jones surely excites all of us. All he needs to work on, as most of us would surely agree on, is to keep it simple.
11. Thiago Alcantara
Possibly the biggest signing in Liverpool’s history in terms of big names. Thiago Alcantara arrived at Merseyside after a treble winning 2019/20 season with Bayern Munich. Kopites were giddy with excitement. Then, injury struck him and the Spaniard has only made 5 appearances for his new club, getting MOTM in two of them. Expect Thiago to go several places higher after the end of the second half of the season.
10. Alisson Becker
Already out injured on two separate occasions, Alisson is not enjoying a phenomenal season in terms of fitness. However, what a difference he makes and what relief he brings whenever we see him between the sticks. He was the sole season why we didn’t get walloped at Fulham, mind you.
9. Joel Matip
Our tall, lanky, unintentionally hilarious and, unluckily enough, delicate defender. Faultless whenever he plays, even popped up with 1 goal and 1 assist this season. World class when fit, we only wish the time between his fit days wasn’t so long.
8. Diogo Jota
Was the signing of the season, until he got (yes, another injury) injured in early December. He was, to put it simply, on fire. Premier League debut goal, scoring winners on consecutive weekends, hattrick against Atalanta, what a debut season Jota is having. 9 goals in 17 appearances, here is another player I expect to move up in the rankings at the end of the season.
7. Roberto Firmino
Despite a slower start to the season, Roberto Firmino has truly picked up his pace and is Bobby Dazzler once again. Majestic and selfless, Bobby also has been available throughout this season, which is such an important aspect. 5 goals and 3 assists in 25 appearances across all competitions.
6. Jordan Henderson
Our captain! He has carried on his impressive form onto the new season. Now not hesitating to go forward, he has upped his game, as well as being an irreplaceable player in our ranks. A vocal, and inborn leader. If any man can push his side to give more, it is Jordan Brian Henderson.
5. Sadio Mane
Few players can not get any G/A but still have a positive influence on the game. Mane is one such player. Although he is not scoring goals prolifically, he has been invaluable in going forward. Liverpool’s left wing connection of Robertson-Mane might just about be the best in the world. 6 goals and 4 assists in 16 appearances is more than just good.
4. Georginio Wjinaldum
One of our two most played players this season. The most significant thing that Wjinaldum offers to Liverpool is his availability. He is one of the two senior Liverpool starting players to not get injured even once this season. He is not just fit, but a beast on the field as well, his ball retention, for example, is a thing of wonder. Fingers crossed he signs a new contract.
3. Fabinho Tavaress
A player we simply cannot afford to lose to injury again. Who knew a world class defensive midfielder can be a world class centre back too? What a massive player, he has been almost immaculate this season. Simply can’t wait for him to go back to his natural position, after our CB crisis will finally end, and see him flourish even more.
2. Mohamed Salah
The Egyptian King has enjoyed his best start to a season in his Liverpool career in 2020/21. 13 goals and 3 assists in 16 games this season, averaging one direct goal contribution every game. Need I say more? Mohamed Salah is having yet another world class season which gets him second spot, at the very least.
1. Andrew Robertson
Not a surprise for most. Mouths have run dry while describing exactly how good our leftback from Scotland has been this season. Like I have said in a previous LFC Transfer Room article, Robertson is head and shoulders above any left back in world football this season. Insanely consistent, dangerous going forward, solid in defence, he absolutely our most important player so far this season. Also, he has not missed a single game this season due to injury, playing every single minute of Premier League football until now. 1 goal and 5 assists from leftback isn’t too shabby either.
What are your top 5 players of this season so far? Let us know in the comments below.
-Priyasha Bhowmik (@lfcpriya11)