What a season it has been. Full of ups and downs, but Liverpool have reached their goal and are in the Champions League after finishing fourth in a nail biting last day. The season must go down as a success in Jürgen Klopp’s first full season at the club. Putting Liverpool back on the map and joining Europe’s elite.
I will be looking at every player that participated for Liverpool this season and giving a short summary on their performances with a rating out of 10.
Simon Mignolet – 8/10
After the transfer of Loris Karius, Liverpool supporters must have thought this was surely the end of Mignolet at the club and he would become our backup. How wrong was everyone? Klopp has turned Mignolet into some sort of hero. Keeping 9 clean sheets this season, for me, he is the most improved player this season. The Belgian was sitting on the bench for a while, watching Karius in goal but fought his way to become the number one for the majority of the season. Mignolet had said earlier in the season that “Being dropped for Loris Karius was a turning point in my Liverpool career”. Credit to Mignolet for not sulking but fighting. Brilliant attitude. Would I keep him here next season? Definitely.
Loris Karius – 4/10
Finally! A goalkeeper that looked good for Mainz and could possibly, finally be our number one? Nope. When Liverpool signed Karius, their supporters were told the German goalkeeper was everything Simon Mignolet was not. Karius has had a season to absolutely forget. Karius was at fault for at least two of the goals in the sickening 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth. Karius was also at fault against West Ham were Liverpool drew 2-2 where both goals should have been denied. Too many points dropped by Karius meant he was evidently dropped. Loris fortunately is only 23 and will have to reflect on this season and I am sure will come back stronger next season.
Nathaniel Clyne – 6/10
Mr Consistent but not effective enough this season unfortunately. Clyne has played 37 games this season in the Premier League only missing 1 game due to an injury, making him the most played player this season. However, 0 goals and only 2 assists from right back is not good enough for such an attacking full back. I like Clyne and I think he has a lot to offer but needs to show more next season. The problem could be that Clyne has no real competition at right back. You look at Tottenham, Kyle Walker is always having to look over his shoulder as Kieran Trippier is itching to get game time. Clyne needs to feel that his position in the team is never secure, thus leading to better performances to keep his place in the team.
Joel Matip – 8/10
They say the best things in life are free, well whoever said that was correct. Assured, strong and a leader. Joel Matip has had an outstanding first season in England, making 32 appearances and keeping 11 clean sheets in those games, scoring once for the club. You knew you had a player who was fully focused on the club after rejecting the chance to join Cameroon at the AFCON to help Liverpool pursue their Champions League spot. Matip’s league debut has been nothing short of brilliant. When played, Liverpool have won 17 times only losing 4 games with the Cameroonian at the back. The only concern I have with Matip is his injury record. There is no doubting his ability, but missing 13 games this season due to injuries is a worry. Liverpool need a stable defender and a stable partnership, something they have been missing for a few years. Liverpool will find a partner for Matip this summer. Let us just hope the two gel.
Dejan Lovren – 7/10
Now Lovren is a tough one. Puts his heart on the sleeve for the club, but is he good enough to be starting week in week out? Maybe not. His incident on the last day against Middlesbrough, which could have been a penalty, would have ruined absolutely everything. However, the footballing Gods finally gave Liverpool a break and both the Reds and Lovren escaped any punishment. Lovren signed a new four-year, £100,000-a-week contract, showing that Klopp has the faith in the Croatian. Lovren has played 29 games in the league this season keeping 11 clean sheets, scoring twice and getting one assist. With Lovren in the team Liverpool have won 16 times, only losing 4 times. Now statistics are good, and in no way am I degrading them, but Lovren does not fulfill you with confidence, and is prone to a mistake in his game. Overall has had a good season, and if Klopp sees something in him, than we’ll back him.
Ragnar Klavan – 5/10
We all love the Estonian and Ragnar has been a decent option this season but with European football and potentially a new center-back joining the club in the summer, Klavan will be down the pecking order next season. The major concern is, at 31 years of age, Klavan showed his limits a few times this season, most notably against Bournemouth when Liverpool conceded a late equaliser which Klavan should have dealt with but was left spinning by Joshua King. Although, in saying that, you have to give Klavan some credit, making 20 appearances in the league and winning 13 of them. A mediocre season for a mediocre player. Harsh, but the reality.
Alberto Moreno – 2/10
Jose Enrique’s apprentice. Has been as horrendous as expected. Adds absolutely nothing to the team and will be on his way out of the club come the transfer window. If you are the only left back in the club with a left foot but a midfielder is taking your position, than there is something very wrong. Highlight of Moreno’s season has to be being caught ‘bottle flipping’ while on the bench against Southampton. I caught myself asking “How is Moreno a professional footballer?” multiple times this season. Missing the target against West Brom’s open goal or not thinking to pass the ball and secure the win was the final straw. Thanks for that goal against Tottenham, but it is time to say adiós amigo.
James Milner – 8/10
What a weird and beautiful thing James Milner has been this season. A midfielder who was played at left back by Klopp throughout the whole season. Making 36 appearances in the league scoring 7 goals and 3 assists coming from a position he has never played in, what a beautiful and reliable human he is. Credit to Klopp for finding a solution to our left back problems and sticking in Milner who has done an unbelievable job. Yes, he has had some mediocre performances but how can you blame him? Not playing in his preferred position but always giving 110% for the club. Been an asset to the club this season and his season was superb. Saying that, Liverpool need to be in the market for a left back in the summer with a left foot. Milner has filled in exceptionally but Liverpool are in need of a natural left back that can take them to another level.
“It’s exciting times for the football club and that is something I wanted to be part of when I came here. Hopefully now we can stick a few trophies in the cabinet. That is the next step.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7/10
What a player this young kid is going to be. After making his senior debut for the club this season, Alexander-Arnold won Young Player of the Season for Liverpool. Only 18 years of age and has shown glimpses of what is to come. Alexander-Arnold made his Premier League debut against Man Utd which must have terrified him but showing his maturity, had one of the best debuts I have ever seen for Liverpool in a very long time. Making 9 appearances for the Reds this season Alexander-Arnold is going to become a very important and special player for Liverpool in the years to come. Steven Gerrard has also tipped the 18 year-old to be a success.
Marko Grujic – 3/10
Grujic is a weird one. For a player who is thought to be a very bright future prospect, has not really instilled me with confidence and it looks like Klopp believes the same. Grujic has only managed 5 appearances in the league and 3 in the league cup this season. Grujic made a cameo against Crystal Palace but made no real impact and nearly broke James Tomkins leg, with a horrific tackle. Now we can’t judge him after a handful of games and it being his first season in England, but next season Grujic should be aiming to break into the team, but I find it difficult to see him as a starter. Although with Liverpool now in Europe, Grujic should hope to get more games under his belt in the domestic cup games.
Ben Woodburn – 7/10
Ben Woodburn sparked excitement when becoming Liverpool’s youngest-ever goalscorer. The 17-year-old became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer when he found the net against Leeds in the EFL Cup in only his second professional appearance. Although, Woodburn still has a lot to learn. His first start for Liverpool against Stoke showed that he is still very young and has a lot to learn. Ben Woodburn won Liverpool’s Academy’s Players’ Player of the Year. Bright future for the young Welshman.
Lucas Leiva – 7/10
10 years of Lucas Leiva. The Brazilian Scouser has been brilliant for the club this season, on and off the pitch. Best moment for Lucas has to be becoming the unlikely hero as he scored against Plymouth to send Liverpool into the FA Cup fourth round. It was Lucas’ first goal since a Europa League clash with Steaua Bucharest in September 2010. Lucas also got the assist against Watford which created goal of the season. Rumours of Lucas leaving this summer does make you feel emotional. The Brazilian has been through everything in the last 10 years including the Roy Hodgson Era and still stuck by the club. I think everyone would agree that loyalty is hard to find nowadays and Lucas should be awarded with a testimonial. Thank you for everything Lucas.
“I’m so proud to wear this shirt every day of my life.”
Emre Can – 8/10
Now if you know me, you will know that I adore Emre Can. Has everything in his locker to become a legend at the club. It had taken him a while to get going this season. With contract issues arising and creating tension between the supporters it looked bleak for Can. Emre Can had also revealed that he played with a calf injury for the majority of the season, forcing himself through the pain on the pitch. (What a guy). However, in the last few months he has been nothing short of exceptional. The German who is only 23, has made 32 league appearances this season scoring 5 goals and getting 2 assists. You look at Emre’s game and he is a player who likes to take a risk and move the ball forward, something a few others lack. When needed most this season, Emre Can has stepped up and helped Liverpool secure top four. Scoring the winner against Burnley and that wonder goal against Watford. Can has also become the leader of the team in captain Jordan Henderson’s absence, which shows you exactly why he has to be a Liverpool player next season, the season after that and the season after that.
“I think it is no secret how much I like Emre.”
Jordan Henderson – 7/10
The captain had a brilliant start to the campaign and found his role as a “number 6” under Klopp. Henderson has really come out of his shell this season and really looks like a leader. His screamer against Chelsea was delightful and ever since has made this Liverpool team click. Saying that, Henderson has been hindered by an injury which has kept him out for the last few months. My only concern would be his injury record. Only 24 league appearances, 1 league goal and 4 assists. I do not want to compare but Gerrard could get a goal and 4 assists in one game. Is Henderson too injury prone? As the captain of the football club, I want to see him on the team sheet, week in week out. I get the occasional injury, but with Henderson it is happening way too often. With the summer transfer window upon the horizon, Klopp will look to bolster his midfield options. Will Henderson be part of the plans in the next few years? I hope he can use this summer to recover and leave his troubles behind him.
Adam Lallana – 9/10
What a season Lallana has had. 31 league games, 8 goals and 7 assists. As good as the statistics look they do not do him justice. Lallana has been a catalyst in the way Liverpool have played this season. He emphasizes exactly what Klopp wants in every single player. His pressing, passion and commitment every single game is what has turned him into a ‘flop’ to a guaranteed starter. I was a doubter of his, but ever since Klopp, I am now a strong believer of Lallana.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 8.5/10
De de de de de de de Gini Wijnaldum! What a signing the Dutch man has been. He has been an absolute hit with the supporters and his performances have justified his price tag. 6 goals and 11 assists this season will prove to those that doubted him a point. Wijnaldum has for me, been one of the players of the season, at times has gone missing, but that has happened with everyone this season. Winner against Man City, equaliser against Chelsea, goal against Arsenal, are many of his highlights, but Wijnaldum’s most important contribution came against Middlesborough. Scoring the first goal to break the deadlock, calmed the supporters and lead Liverpool to a top four finish, it does not get better than that. What a debut season.
Philippe Coutinho – 9/10
What a player Coutinho is. I just want to thank Inter Milan for letting us have the Brazilian beauty for only £8.5 million. This season Coutinho has quietened down critics and has cemented his place just under the ‘world class’ category in my opinion and will only get better. His versatility and being effective in any position is something that makes him a stand out player. My favourite game was against West Ham, when we needed to win to remain in control of top four. Coutinho stepped up scoring twice and getting an assist just proved he is a big game player. Coutinho also became the highest scoring Brazilian in Premier League history scoring 34 goals. Coutinho also finished as Liverpool’s highest goal scorer on 14 goals for the season. Signed a new contract earlier in the season. Loves the club, loves the city, loves the supporters. Hope he is a red forever.
“I signed this new contract to stay here for a few more years because it’s a great honour for me. It gives me great happiness because I was welcomed here with open arms by everyone at the club and the supporters right from my first day. I am very thankful to this football club for everything.”
Roberto Firmino – 8/10
Mr. False Nine. 35 games. 11 goals. 7 assists. Firmino has been another player that sums up Klopp. Hard working player that works for the team and not himself. Everything about Firmino is brilliant and this season has proved how important he is to the team. His winner against West Brom was glorious but the tremendous goal against Stoke which won us the game and delivered us 3 VITAL points at The bet365 Stadium was the highlight of his season. Nevertheless, I personally think we need a striker in the summer. Firmino is for me, a player that creates chances. We need a striker who will score 20+ goals every season and Firmino unfortunately is not that.
Divock Origi – 6.5/10
Origi can be so frustrating. We all really want him to become a star at the club. His determination and will power to become a starter for the club is brilliant to see, but 7 league goals and 3 assists to his name, for me is not good enough. I wanted him to be getting over 10 goals this season, especially with Sturridge being injured and Mané being at the AFCON and then being injured. Origi should have taken the chance and got himself those goals. His hold up play is brilliant, but lacks that killer instinct. Origi needs to hit form straight away next season, and with rumours of a striker joining the club, chances could become limited. Origi is only 22 and still has a lot to improve and work on, but age is on his side, and I hope, he can become prosperous here at Liverpool.
Daniel Sturridge – 7/10
Another player who I have a lot of time for. Sturridge has had a tough season with injuries once again, but has shown his quality in the last few weeks of the season. Starting and scoring against West Ham just proved that Daniel will always have that strikers instinct, and if he was fit for the whole season, I am sure Liverpool would have been challenging for the league. With more fixtures next season and his recent performances, I am praying that Sturridge is a Liverpool player come next season, as I feel he still has a lot to offer.
“A fit Sturridge is an unbelievable player.”
Sadio Mané- 10/10
13 goals, 5 assists, Players’ Player of the Season and named Liverpool Player of the Season in his first season at Merseyside. What. A. Signing. Eyebrows were raised when Klopp first bought the Senegalese to Anfield after a hefty price tag and another Southampton player, but that price tag was instantly paid. His winner against Everton in the 94th minute paid back every single penny for me. Mané has been everything Liverpool have been missing for a very long time. A direct, fast and strong winger who loves to score. Leaving for AFCON hurt Liverpool in January and it was plain to see that Liverpool were not the same team without Mané. No AFCON next season means Mané will be going no where next season and will be hoping to win Liverpool some silverware. Oh Mané Mané.
“I feel at home at this club and in this city.”
“I have loved every minute of playing for Liverpool this season”
That concludes my thoughts on the players’ 2016/17 season. I might have been too harsh on some, and too kind-hearted for others, but that is the way I have judged the players. I look forward to doing the same, this time next season, hopefully with the league won!
Written by Vilson Beiqi
One thought on “Liverpool’s 2016/17 season. A look at the players.”
Good read!! Maybe a bit harsh on Grujic – injury kept him out. He played really well for the under 23’s on his return. I think he’ll feature a lot next season