Liverpool are current Champions League, Super Cup, World Club Champions and Premier League Champions elect, but who is the player the club could do least without?
When Jurgen Klopp joined Liverpool in late 2015, it was hard to argue that the German had any truly world-class stars at his disposal. A 23-year-old Philippe Coutinho was on his way to earning that status but had a way to go whilst Steven Gerrard had left the club a couple of months previously.
Fast forward to today and Klopp has a litany of World Class talents to work with. Liverpool had four of the top seven at the 2019 Balon d’Or awards with a further three named in the top 30.
This was all without Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Andrew Robertson who have transformed their games over the past of couple of seasons to push themselves into that top bracket.
With so many outstanding players now plying their trade at Anfield, who is the most important?
Up front, Liverpool boasts one of, if not the best attacking trios in the world consisting of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
The Brazilian is the unique fulcrum that allows the latter pair to rack up goal after goal. His play is so selfless and his importance to the team cannot be measured statistically. However, for a number nine, albeit a false one, his goal tally should be a tad higher.
Mane and Salah finished joint top-scorers in the Premier League last season while coming in at number four and five on the Ballon d’Or rankings respectively.
Both started out as blistering wingers before refining their game under Jurgen Klopp to become out and out goalscorers with an eye for an assist.
Although both are utterly brilliant, they sometimes perform better in the absence of the other which takes away from their importance.
In midfield, the much-maligned trio of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum have silenced the critics as Liverpool broke all sorts of points records in the Premier League thus far this term. Henderson, in particular, has developed into a player worthy to succeed Liverpool great Gerrard as team captain and is right in the mix for Player of the Season this year.
Again, however, their strength comes in numbers as they are a perfect balance in the middle of the park.
At the back, Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander Arnold are the best in the world in their respective positions.
Over the past two Premier League seasons, they have amassed a whopping 42 assists with Alexander Arnold breaking the single-season record for a defender, twice, while Robertson equalled the previous best. An absurd amount of the team’s goals come through the duo with no real replacements for either in the squad.
But, while they operate using a different style, there are two of them.
Alongside that duo is the best central defender in the world and reigning PFA Player’s Player of the year Virgil van Dijk.
His signing in January 2018, shifted the narrative for Liverpool as their porous defence was instantly revamped and is now regarded as peerless across the globe. There is nothing to say about the Dutchman that hasn’t already been said and Lionel Messi aside, he is the world’s best player.
However, just pipping Van Dijk as Liverpool’s most important player is Alisson Becker.
While Van Dijk’s arrival began the renovation of the Liverpool rearguard, the signing of the Brazilian completed it.
His assuredness is his biggest trait, not to mention his shot-stopping and ability with the ball which are so far removed from previous Liverpool netminders. The biggest compliment to the goalie are the sides’ results without him though.
The last match prior to his arrival saw Loris Karius’ mistakes lose Liverpool the Champions League final while the club’s last game against Atletico Madrid was riddled in goalkeeping errors in his absence.
While he may not be the club’s best player, he is the MVP.