As Liverpool continues their quest to attain a spot in next season’s Champions League, or even win the Premier League, their midfield has begun to develop as a key part in this.
The output from Klopp’s most youthful part of his squad is set to be a key piece in the Reds’ crusade towards a successful campaign. Already, impressive performances have brought noticeable results that deserve a more in-depth look.
Creating Chances, Scoring Goals and Winning Games
Mohamed Salah is Liverpool’s talisman. Virgil Van Dijk anchors the backline. Who leads the midfield? Some would argue Dominik Szoboszlai others Alexis Mac Allister.
The fact that there is no clear leader and several other good performers, highlights the growth in this part of the pitch.
Last year a lackluster squad was dominated by a superior Real Madrid team in the UCL Round of 16, but when an aging Luka Modric outpaced the youthful Stefan Bajcetic, it was time for a change.
Klopp got permission from the board to pursue an overhaul during the Summer transfer window. When completed, it was nothing short of brilliance from the German mastermind. Szoboszlai came in from Leipzig. Mac Allister, a World Cup winner, was purchased from Brighton & Hove Albion.
A yet unnamed player making waves is Ryan Gravenberch. His Bayern Munich departure was a coup, especially considering his reinvention at Anfield.
The other notable midfielder has been a Red for years. Harvey Elliott is truly starting to come into his own, and the squad is better for it.
At 20 years old, the Englishman is the youngest member of this group. However, the others are not far in front of him. Gravenberch is 21, Szoboszlai 22 and Mac Allister the veteran at 24.
An already intimidating batch of players has the potential, bar injuries, to develop into the most feared midfield in Europe.
Passing accuracy is a key strength of this talented group. Curtis Jones, although not someone who has made as many starts as the Hungarian or Argentine, has a stellar 94.2% passing accuracy. Mac Allister and Elliott clock in at 89% and 88% respectively.
This is according to statistics from British outlet The Athletic’s database. These elite statistics are even more impressive considering how many passes the Reds complete in a match.
Currently, Liverpool have completed 5,033 passes in the 2023/24 Premier League season. Published by the league itself, this number is only 157 behind third place, but safely ahead of its closest competitor.
Why does it really matter? Well, one of the teams the Reds are behind is none other than Chelsea. A shell of their former selves, the Blues are struggling now. The nearly 350 more passes they have taken have not brought a better standing in the table.
Directly behind Klopp’s side are Newcastle and Manchester United. That is not surprising considering they are both below Liverpool in the table, but thanks to a lethal midfield, Anfield is boasting far more than just an edge in completed passes.
The success rate for all passes, whether they be long balls, crosses or calculated short linkup play, is making the Reds’ style of play sustainable. Few teams in Europe pass the ball so often and so well.
A moment that is hopefully still fresh from a joyous Merseyside Derby victory; Szoboszlai’s’ dispossession and pass to Nunez that set up Salah’s second goal.
While not an assist, it was the definition of a key pass. A statistic that, according to FBRef, Liverpool are second in completing to only league-leaders Tottenham.
Now, to compare how far the squad has come, remember that dreadful night at Anfield where Madrid tore the team to pieces with clinical possession of the ball.
The midfield will continue to get better. Passing and assists are not the only area they contribute. Szoboszlai and Gravenberch are on the score sheet with others looking to soon follow suit.
If there were a weakness in this midfield, it would not sound crazy to say that they lack experience. But Mac Allister and Szoboszlai, with 13 and 11 apiece, lead the team in tackles won.
The Argentine is second to Van Dijk by one when it comes to interceptions. Does more European glory await? Thanks to Liverpool’s midfield, Klopp and the Reds are trophy-hunting again this season.