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Liverpool in 2023: Best Player, Best XI, Best Goal & More

Liverpool finished the 2022/23 season outside of the Champions League places for the first time in seven years, missing out on the top four by four points.

The Reds have since exorcised the demons of the previous campaign, sanctioning a midfield rebuild that has propelled them to the pinnacle of the Premier League table this season.

Liverpool have endured a topsy-turvy 2023, but they’re on course for an enthralling finale that could set them on the path to a second Premier League title in four years.

With the new year on the horizon, here’s our 2023 review for the Reds.

Best player – Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah has been the poster boy for Liverpool’s success since he arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2017, and this year has been no different.

The Egyptian forward has notched 28 goals and 18 assists across all competitions already in 2023, but those numbers could increase significantly with a handful of fixtures remaining this year.

Salah has bagged 11 Premier League goals thus far, with only Manchester City striker Erling Braut Haaland netting more and would be crucial to Liverpool’s lofty ambitions this season.

Best goal – Diogo Jota v Tottenham Hotspur

As easy as one, two, three, Liverpool were cruising to an emphatic victory over Tottenham Hotspur back in April, establishing a three-goal lead inside the opening quarter of an hour.

Quickfire goals from Curtis Jones and Luis Diaz stunned Tottenham at Anfield before Salah put the final nail in the coffin with a well-taken penalty – or so it seemed.

Tottenham pulled one back through Harry Kane just before half-time, and the second half of the nail-biting encounter served up a thrilling spectacle for fans and neutrals alike.

Heung-min Son pulled Tottenham to within one in the 77th minute before super-sub Richarlison levelled matters for Ryan Mason’s Spurs late in stoppage time, sending the away fans into a frenzy.

However, the dust had barely settled on Spurs’ equaliser when a defensive mishap offered Jurgen Klopp’s side a reprieve with Diogo Jota snatching a late winner for Liverpool.

Best game – Liverpool 7-0 Manchester United

It’s always a game for the ages when the Premier League’s oldest rivals square off, and Liverpool v Manchester United back in March certainly stole the headlines.

United rocked up to Anfield brimming with confidence, and rightly so. Before the trip to Merseyside, the Red Devils had gone 11 games without defeat across all competitions.

However, their unbeaten streak was put to a halt in spectacular fashion as Klopp’s troops put seven past a bewildered United side.

Cody Gakpo, Salah and Darwin Nunez bagged a brace apiece, while Roberto Firmino capped off the rout with a late finish.

Best XI

Allison has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe. Not only is the Brazilian central to Liverpool’s style of play, but he’s also a crucial component in their silverware aspirations.

Trent Alexander Arnold’s role at Liverpool has been tweaked this season, with Klopp utilising his exceptional passing ability in the middle of the park. But we’re sticking the England international at right back. 

Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk have established a formidable partnership at the heart of Liverpool’s defence while Andrew Robertson slots in at left-back.

Wataru Endo’s arrival allowed Alexis Mac Allister take up a more forward role in the middle of the park while Dominik Szoboszlai makes up the midfield three.

Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Salah make up the front three. Jota and Gakpo have also delivered solid performances, but they’ve been forced to settle for a place on the bench.

Best XI (4-3-3): Allison, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Szoboszlai, Endo, Mac Allister; Salah, Nunez, Diaz.

Best transfer signing – Alexis Mac Allister

Snapping up a player of Mac Allister’s quality from Brighton & Hove Albion, who are famous for being tough negotiators, can easily be attributed as the business deal of the year for Liverpool.

For £35 million, Mac Allister has proven to be a value-for-money acquisition. His versatility has come in handy for Liverpool, who failed to secure a high-profile defensive midfielder last summer.

Operating from the base of the midfield, Mac Allister has featured in 14 of Liverpool’s 16 Premier League games, contributing a goal and an assist.

Manager Grade – A

Liverpool ended a disappointing 2022/23 season on an 11-match unbeaten streak, and it was obvious Klopp was one midfield rebuild away from restoring his side to the title conversation.

Liverpool have enjoyed a fantastic 2023/24 campaign, with their only defeat of the season coming in the contentious 2-1 loss against Tottenham.

The Reds sit atop the Premier League rankings, having won 11 of their 16 games thus far, and look good value heading into the second half of the season.

They’re firmly in the title race, and Klopp would fancy his chances of securing a second Premier League title, beating Arsenal and the out-of-sorts Manchester City to the punch.

Team Grade – B

Liverpool are back to their familiar best this season, thanks in large part to their midfield rebuild that saw the likes of Endo, Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch and Szoboszlai join the club.

They’re still short of a high-profile defensive midfielder, but Endo has gradually grown into the role, establishing himself as a pivotal part of the midfield three.

The Japanese could be handed serious competition if Liverpool decide to splash the cash on another defensive midfielder in January. But either way, Klopp has a plethora of talent at his disposal.

Liverpool in 2024 – Prediction: Win a trophy

There’s no reason why Liverpool shouldn’t be aiming for silverware at the bare minimum, especially after their blistering start to the season.

At least one of the domestic competitions should be on their radar, but going all the way in the FA Cup could be tricky, considering Arsenal are their third-round opponents.

The Europa League won’t be a walk in the park, but it would come as a huge surprise if Klopp’s side fail to win the title, given that they’re heads and shoulders above the competitors.

Liverpool are in the driving seat for the title race, and a second league title could be on the cards, but they’ll need to fend off Arsenal, Man City and Aston Villa, who are also in the mix.

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