The 5 best dribblers at Liverpool over the 2021/22 season so far


The 5 best dribblers at Liverpool over the 2021/22 season so far

Who are the best dribblers at Liverpool right now? We have a look at who we believe have been the five best over the 2021/22 season.

Liverpool have several players who move the ball well – but who are the best dribblers at the club?

We’ve had a look over Statsbomb date (from FBref) and made our own judgement on the best of the 2021/22 season so far.

5. Naby Keita

Keita should be higher than this but he’s not dribbling all that much this season. We have no real idea why as he’s one of the best at the club for it.

Over the equivalent of four 90s, Keita has attempted to take on players twice. He was successful once and failed once. We really wish he’d run with the ball more.

So why does he make this list? Because Keita’s stats still show how good he is at this, even if it’s just one standout stat.

The hardest thing to do with the ball is to dribble it into the penalty area. Keita does that around 1.25 times per Premier League game right now, though.

In fact, his total of 5 is the joint-third highest at Liverpool. And that’s without him really trying too often.

4. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

We haven’t seen Oxlade-Chamberlain much this season but he’s unquestionably one of the best dribblers at Liverpool.

He’s been successful with six of his eight attempts at taking players on, giving him a 75% success rate. Four Reds beat that rate but none of them attempted more than two.

In fact, the highest success rate of any non-Oxlade-Chamberlain to attempt more than two is 48.9%.

The Englishman also really stands out when it comes to carrying the ball into the final third. He does it 4.83 times per 90 – comfortably the best at the club.

Unfortunately, we’ve only seen Oxlade-Chamberlain for 2.9 90s. Maybe his success will lead to more minutes.

3. Andy Robertson

A strange one, we admit, and when it comes to taking players on, Robertson isn’t particularly good at all. But he’s still one of Liverpool’s most important players at running the ball forward.

No regular averages more charges into the final third than Robertson. Only two regular players carry it more often into the penalty area.

What makes this all the more impressive is that Robertson has played some massive games this season. His average opponent is tough than anyone else’s, with over half his games coming against Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and West Ham United.

But Liverpool can still rely on Robertson to consistently carry that ball into dangerous areas. While he’s not having his greatest season, the Scot still finds a way to be valuable.

2. Sadio Mane

Mane is actually dribbling far less often in the 2021/22 season than in previous years. That’s part of an overall role change as Liverpool shift creativity elsewhere.

It’s a testament to just how good he is, however, that Mane still sits second on this list.

He still attempts to take players on 2.8 times per 90 and is successful with 48%. That’s a much higher number than it looks for someone like Mane. He frequently takes players on in difficult areas and faces multiple defenders.

Only one regular dribbler beats that percentage, in fact (more on him in a bit).

You can see how often Mane tries difficult dribbles with his numbers. He gets the ball into the penalty area 1.8 times per 90 (2nd best) and beats 1.37 players per 90 (4th best).

Mane may have changed his role but he’s still comfortably one of the best dribblers at Liverpool.

1. Mohamed Salah

Salah isn’t just the best dribbler at Liverpool but he’s almost certainly the best in the Premier League. His numbers are simply incredible, though we’re sure you saw that coming.

No one at Liverpool dribbles the ball into the box more often than Salah at 2.1 times per 90. He also boasts the best success rate of any regular at 49%.

But we actually want to talk about a stat we haven’t mentioned for anyone else – shot creation. That’s an action that leads to a shot within two actions. For example, dribbling the ball and then passing for a shot or dribbling and then having a shot yourself.

Salah has done this eight times this season. Diogo Jota is next-highest with three and then no one else has done it more than once. Mane, second on this list, hasn’t done it at all.

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Salah is second in the Premier League for it over the 2021/22 season, too – only Adama Traore (11) boasts more.

But then lets up the level here – goal creation. Same idea but actions that lead to goals, not just shots.

Salah has created five goals with dribbles. Wolves striker Raul Jimenez has created three to be the next highest and then no one else in the Premier League has more than one.

That’s what separates Salah from the rest. He doesn’t just beat players but he does it to create goals in ways no one else can manage.

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