Report Card: Grading our players so far (Who gets an A*?)

With almost half of the season played, Jurgen Klopp's men still find themselves sitting joint top of the 2020/2021 Premier League season, despite a recent blip in form.

Arch-rivals Manchester United are level on points with a game in hand, and the stage is all set as the top two sides will take on each other in a high-stake clash at Anfield in less than two weeks' time.

Liverpool's recent form has been a cause of concern for Klopp and his team, who will be desperately finding ways to recapture the form that saw them win last season's competition at a canter.

Wijnaldum celebrating a goal
Image Source: Liverpool FC

Here, we take a look at the individual performances so far this campaign — who surprised you the most?

*Players have all made at least 5 league appearances (except for Thiago, on 4)

Naby Keita: C

It is a brand new season, but the injury-prone Guinean midfielder still looks incapable of playing consecutive matches. He has made just seven league appearances so far, and is facing another potentially lengthy spell on the sideline. A truly frustrating and diabolical injury record; time is ticking fast for the 26-year-old.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: C+

Klopp and Alexander Arnold having a conversation
Image Source: The Mirror

The young Scouser has yet to find any sort of rhythm this season, struggling to recapture last season's superb form. Alexander-Arnold is looking increasingly vulnerable at the back and even his ever so reliable attacking forays are now looking like a thing of the past. Perhaps playing in an unfamiliar backline is not helping his cause, but he has to turn this woeful form around, quickly.

Mo Salah: B-

MO Salah for Liverpool
Image Source: talkSPORT

Despite leading the league's goalscoring charts, Salah's form has been a cause for concern — especially in recent weeks. The Egyptian King has found himself as a passenger in large parts of the matches; struggling to stamp his mark on the games. His body language and energy seems a tad uninspired too, and you wonder if all the transfer talks have to do with it. A mediocre season by his high standards, Klopp will do well to get him back to his very best.

Takumi Minamino: B-

The Japanese international broke his Premier League duck with an expertly finished goal against Crystal Palace, but has struggled to nail down a spot in the starting line-up. Minamino has always shown good energy and enthusiasm when presented with the opportunity; currently a solid option off the bench for Klopp.

Joel Matip: B

Matip for Liverpool
Image Source: Sky Sports

The Cameroon defender has been superb every time he steps onto the pitch this season. The only problem is that it does not happen very often for the injury-prone defender, who is facing another lengthy spell on the sideline.

Joe Gomez: B

Gomez was in the Reds starting eleven at the start of the season, but picked up a terrible injury that will see him sit out for most parts of this campaign. He marshalled the defence well when van Dijk was first ruled out; only to find himself joining the Dutchman in the treatment room not long after. Another unfortunate injury for the talented defender.

James Milner: B

The evergreen Milner turned 35 a couple of days ago and is showing no signs of slowing down. He picked up a hamstring injury against Brighton earlier in the season but is now back in the team, and his incredible versatility and experience will help ease some of Klopp's headaches.

Thiago Alcantara: B

The Spaniard already broke records in his 45 minutes debut against Chelsea, showing glimpses of his unquestionable talent and ability. A horrible injury has set his progress back, but Thiago made his first start for Liverpool against Southampton since his comeback and will definitely be a key part of Klopp's plans.

Virgil van Dijk: B

Made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes at the start of the season, the Dutch defender was looking to bounce back to his tremendous best — only to have his season curtailed by a horrific tackle in the Merseyside derby. His absence is sorely felt, with his imperious figure and calmness at the back something the Reds can definitely do with at the moment.

Alisson Becker: B+

The team looks a tad more assured whenever he is on the pitch. The Brazilian shot-stopper has done well this season, but his proneness to the odd injuries will be a slight concern for the Reds.

Jordan Henderson: B+

Henderson for Liverpool
Image Source: Sky Sports

The skipper's presence in the team is more keenly felt than ever, with senior figures like van Dijk and James Milner finding themselves out for a significant period. The 31-year-old displays his usual leadership whenever he is on the pitch and dictates the game well — a vital figure in the team.

Roberto Firmino: B+

Si Senor struggled for form earlier in the season, but is looking close to his best in recent weeks. His last-minute winner against Tottenham Hotspur will surely be the highlight so far, although his two well-taken goals against Crystal Palace will not be too far behind. Firmino is playing with the trademark grin across his face again, and that is only good news for the team.

Curtis Jones: A-

Jones dribbling against Fulham's Lemina
Image Source: Rousing the Kop

The 19-year-old midfielder perhaps did not imagine he would feature as much as he has at the start of the season, but Liverpool's spate of injuries has presented Jones with a golden opportunity. And he seized it with both hands, putting in displays that belied his tender age. The only blip was the error for the West Brom's equaliser, but the kid has a bright future ahead of him.

Sadio Mane: A-

The best player among the attacking trio, Mane has looked a constant menace every time he is on the pitch. He endured a mini goal drought earlier this season, but has always remained a key part of Liverpool's attack. The Senagalese forward has now six goals to his name and we are certain it will not be long before he rediscovers his goalscoring touch again.

Gini Wijnaldum: A

Another one of the more consistent performers in the team, Wijnaldum has not let the contract talks off the pitch affect his performances. The Dutchman has been solid, if not spectacular, for most parts of the campaign and his consistency and fitness will be an integral part of the team's success.

Fabinho: A+

The Brazilian has so far slotted seamlessly into the Reds' defence after the injury crisis at the back. Fabinho has never looked a moment out of his depth; putting in assured performances weekly despite not having a regular partner alongside him. The biggest compliment though is that it is not far-fetched to think that he might well be making that spot his own — playing alongside Virgil van Dijk in the future.

Diogo Jota: A+

Took little time to settle into his new life at Anfield, Jota flew off the blocks and has already netted nine goals in all competitions. The Portuguese international has provided the Reds with a different attacking option with his directness and energy, and providing much-needed competition for the front three. The Reds will be desperate to have him back, having picked up a knee injury in early December.

Andy Robertson: A*

Andy robertson chasing after a ball
Image Source: Liverpool FC

Likely Liverpool's best performer so far this season, Robertson is one of the few players who has consistently kept the high standards from last season. His link-up play with Sadio Mane, energy and attacking impetus has already seen him racked up five assists this season, and the Scotland international is looking equally assured at the back.


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