Jack Hallows attempts to predict who will end the 2017/18 as Liverpool Football Club’s top goal scorer alongside naming who he feels is less likely to find the net.
The new season looms and with four competitions to play in and boasting an impressive amount of attacking firepower amongst their ranks, it’s almost nailed on that Liverpool are going to score a shed load of goals.
The Reds found the back of the net a stunning 78 times in the Premier League last campaign, adding a further 14 in cup matches to finish with 92 goals in 47 fixtures across all competitions.
Philippe Coutinho finished the season as the Reds’ top-scorer with 14 while Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi and Sadio Mané also all hit double figures.
With all of Klopp’s men likely looking to improve on their hauls from last season and likely having more games with which to do it in due to European commitments, we could be in for a real treat. With that in mind, I decided to have a go at predicting how many goals each Liverpool player might end the season with in all competitions.
Top Scorer: Roberto Firmino: 18-20
Personally, I believe Roberto Firmino should end the season as Liverpool’s top goalscorer this time round. The Brazilian hasn’t been the most prolific since arriving on Merseysde, completing two full seasons with Liverpool and scoring just 23 goals but his 22 assists prove his game is not solely built around finding the net himself.
The £37m addition of Mohamed Salah means that the Brazilian is more likely to play through the middle as the Reds’ solo striker for longer stretches of games and spending more time in and around the opposition box can only mean a larger goal threat.
Add to this the potential of the club’s new no.9 taking over penalty duties from James Milner and Firmino looks a real candidate to finish the season with 20 or more goals.
Sadio Mané: 15
The Senegalese finished his first campaign on Merseyside with an impressive haul of 13 strikes in 29 games, scoring with his left foot, right foot and even his head.
The speedster achieved this despite missing a month of the season at AFCON and a further eight fixtures with injury during April and May. With no international absence required this season, an injury free Mané could easily better his total from last season and who knows, he may even eclipse Firmino.
Mohamed Salah: 14
Liverpool’s new record signing has already found the net for the club four times in six pre-season fixtures and looks to have slotted into the Reds’ front three seamlessly.
The Egyptian finished last season with 19 goals for AS Roma across all competitions but it would be a massive weight on his shoulders to expect a similar tally in his first year at a new club.
With Salah’s pace and deadly instincts it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him breach the 15 goal mark but the number 14 just sounded about right.
Philippe Coutinho: 12
The playmaker is just coming off his best goalscoring season but given he’ll be playing in a slightly deeper role, it would surprise me to see him improve on the 14 strikes he managed last season.
That being said, Coutinho looked truly world-class at both ends of the season and in the two fixtures he played in the middle of the park during the final run in, he did manage to score three goals.
It’s more likely that we’ll see his creative side sparkle and I’d be surprised not to see him improve on the nine assists he managed in all competitions last season. I expect double figures in terms of goals but if he manages to better last campaign’s tally I’ll be highly impressed.
Daniel Sturridge: 10
Predicting how many games Daniel Sturridge will play is hard enough, let alone how many goals he’ll score but if the Englishman can keep himself fit enough to start 15 or so matches this season, then it’ll be no shock to see him hit double figures.
Back in Klopp’s first season in charge, the striker put together a solid three months of consistent football and finished with 13 goals in all competitions while last campaign he managed 7 from just 11 starts.
He has the real potential to be a game changer when fit, it’s just a matter of how many games he actually gets to play – missing Watford on opening weekend certainly isn’t an encouraging sign.
Gini Wijnaldum: 8
The Dutchman was superb in his first season on Merseyside, going from strength to strength and I back him to not only improve on his goal tally from last season, but to finally break his away goal duck too.
The attacker-turned-midfielder had a real tendency to perform in the big games, scoring goals against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal that were in the end worth 7 points in total. If he can ensure he remains a mainstay in Klopp’s XI – he certainly has the opportunity given Adam Lallana’s injury – then it wouldn’t surprise me to see him improve on last season’s tally.
Adam Lallana: 6
Lallana finished last season with his best numbers in a Liverpool shirt, scoring 8 goals and assisting 7 but with Coutinho dropping into a deeper role and the Englishman injured for the first 2-3 months of the season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his returns drop off a little this campaign.
Of course, if he has a run like he did in December last season where he seemingly scored or assisted every time he took the field then he could easily rack up similar numbers. From where I’m standing however, I just can’t see him managing it.
Divock Origi/Dominic Solanke: 5
This is highly dependent on game time.
For me, Origi has moved behind Solanke in the striker’s pecking order but for Klopp it could still be very different as he evidently rates the Belgian highly.
Both should see a decent amount of games in domestic cup competitions at very least and with both of them more than capable of scoring goals, they should end up with around the five goal mark if they play regularly.
Emre Can: 4
The German finished with a career best five goal season after being moved into a slightly more attacking midfield role last time out and I’d be surprised to see his returns drop off too much.
Can has shown a far better understanding in the last eight months or so of when to push forward, adding an extra element of finishing ability to his game and a penchant for scoring ridiculously eye-catching goals – his strikes against Burnley and Watford anyone?
The only thing I can see hampering his goal scoring output is potentially rotating in the deeper role with Jordan Henderson.
Ben Woodburn: 3
The 17-year old became Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer last season in their League Cup campaign and with two goals in pre-season, including a rocket of a left footed effort against Athletic Club – I’d be surprised not to see him get on the score sheet a couple of times in 2017/18.
The Welshman is a player whose ability far outweighs his age with a mature head on his shoulders and the ability to seemingly play anywhere across the front three or as one of the ‘floating 8s,’ suggesting he could be an understudy to Philippe Coutinho.
If his attacking output equals even a quarter of Coutinho’s this season you’d be hard pressed to call him anything but a success.
James Milner/Alberto Moreno/Andy Robertson/Marko Grujić/Jordan Henderson: 2
Through a combination of playing in more defensive-minded roles and probable lack of game time for some – Grujić and Milner perhaps in particular – don’t expect to see this lot get on the score sheet too often.
Milner finished last season with seven strikes, all from the spot but it looks as if Roberto Firmino may have taken up spot kick duties and with Alberto Moreno and Andy Robertson both impressing in pre-season, the vice-captain could find his starting spot under threat.
To see Moreno and Robertson make the most of their overlapping duties and notch up a couple of useful goals would be top notch.
Trent Alexander-Arnold/Nathaniel Clyne/Dejan Lovren/Joel Matip/Ragnar Klavan/Joe Gomez: 1
Liverpool’s defenders often have a knack for contributing at the other end – Lucas Leiva, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan all got on the score sheet at least once last season despite playing as centre backs – so expect this lot to grab maybe one or two goals from set pieces across the campaign. Don’t expect much more than that though!