Liverpool supporters have been making a lot of noise in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side batter West Ham 4-1 at the London Stadium on Saturday, a result which moved them up to fifth place in the Premier League table.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash with the lowly Hammers off the back of beating Huddersfield Town and Maribor, and first half goals from Mohamed Salah and Joel Matip set them on their way to a third win in seven days. And although Manuel Lanzini got one back for the home side ten minutes after the break, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made it 3-1 just moments later before the sensational Salah bagged his second and the Reds’ fourth 15 minutes from time.
Thus, several of our resident Liverpudlians have been making a lot of noise in the Tavern this week, and are using the current two-week break for internationals as a chance to reflect upon their season so far, and indeed look forward to what’s to come from their side over the succeeding months.
And given that the Reds have scored 21 goals in just 11 Premier League games so far, much of the talk among those Liverpool fans lining up at the bar has been their side’s attacking capabilities, but who in particular has been their most creative player this season?
Well, although the likes of Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane have been excellent so far this term, it’s Philippe Coutinho who gets the nod from our resident Liverpool fans.
The Brazil international may have only scored two goals and laid on one assist so far this season, tallies which are less than the aforementioned trio, but when one considers that the 25-year-old has played just five of their 11 games so far, in comparison to Salah and Firmino’s 11 as well as Mane’s six, you can see exactly how creative the forward has been.
Coutinho has created 15 chances so far for the Reds this season, which is just five less than Firmino and one less than Salah, but when you look at that in terms of key passes per game, the Barcelona target takes it by averaging a staggering 3.2 chances per match, which is a significant difference to two for Firmino and 1.5 for Salah.
And when one dives further into the statistics, you see that Coutinho is the one that is more often than not trying to make something happen for Klopp’s team.
No one in the Liverpool squad has completed more dribbles per match than the 25-year-old (3.6), while his average of 4.2 shots per match is also the most of anyone ahead of Salah (3.4) and Mane (2.5).
So, while Coutinho hasn’t quite made the direct contributions he would surely have liked to so far, it’s certainly not through the lack of trying, and when he’s on the pitch they pose an even greater attacking threat than usual.
Barcelona were reportedly keen on the Brazil sensation throughout the summer window and reportedly may reignite their interest in the 25-year-old in January, but based on his efforts so far this season, even if he hasn’t featured as regularly as Liverpool fans would want, they simply cannot afford to let him leave.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!