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

Who are the best passers at Liverpool right now? We have a look at some impressive stats over the 2021/22 season so far.

Liverpool have some brilliant passers on their books – but who are the best? It’s a tough question and a subjective one. We poured over the Premier League stats (from Statsbomb via FBref) to pick out our five best.

We’ll just throw in a disclaimer here, too. Thiago is undoubtedly one of the best passers at Liverpool and, arguably, the outright best. He’s finished under three 90s this season, however, so we figured others deserved the praise.

5. Diogo Jota

Jota’s an interesting one and, in truth, we’re giving him this as something of a ‘most improved’ selection. His stats this season are quite eye-catching.

Jota operates in the final third, of course, and primarily around the box. Passing isn’t his strong suit, however – he’s no Roberto Firmino but more of a goal poacher.

This season, though, Jota is improving quite dramatically. His ‘expected assists’ sit at 2.4 for the campaign so far, which is 0.8 high than he managed all of last season.

Jota has already created more chances, too (16 to 12) and is bizarrely good at passing long. He’s attempted 14 passes over 30 yards this season and connected with 12. That’s the best rate at the club.

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4. Jordan Henderson

No player has moved the ball into the final third more than Henderson this season. Only one played has completed more progressive passes – that is, forward passes over 10 yards (not counting the defensive third).

Only two players have created more chances and only three have completed a pass into the area more often.

Henderson achieves a lot of these stats through sheer quantity. He receives the ball as often as anyone and his job is to move it on. That comes with some trouble, though – no player has completed more passes under a press than Henderson.

He does so at a wonderful rate in every single game. Liverpool can count on him for consistency, creativity and in every single game.

3. Virgil van Dijk

Van Dijk’s stats are quite special and he’s undoubtedly one of the best passers at Liverpool. No regular player has a better pass completion rate, for instance, nor has anyone totalled more distance with their passes.

Van Dijk has completed 98% of his passes between 5 and 15 yards. He’s literally misplaced 3 out of 187 attempts thus far. Over the next 15 yards, he’s misplaced only nine.

That incredible consistency allows Liverpool a perfect base for their possession. But that’s not all Van Dijk does – only two players move the ball into the attacking third more.

The Dutchman also attempts an incredible number of long balls. 156 in total, the second-most at the club. He completes a remarkable 74% of them, too. That’s quite an outstanding rate.

2. Mohamed Salah

Salah has the most assists at Liverpool this season and, unsurprisingly, the highest expected assists, too. That’s despite the disadvantage of not being able to pass to Mohamed Salah.

But no one completes more through balls than Salah, while only one has created more chances. He’s also very good at progressive passes, despite frequently being the most advanced player – only one tops him in that regard.

Salah creates all of this while boasting an 80% pass completion. For comparison, Sadio Mane’s is just under 70%.

The Egyptian may not be known as an elite passer but when it comes to creativity in and around the box, few can match him.

1. Trent Alexander-Arnold

You’ve probably noticed us saying ‘only one player has done such-and-such more often’. That player is almost invariably Alexander-Arnold.

No one has created more chances (29), no one comes close for progressive passes (81 and the next-highest is 49) and none gets the ball into the penalty area more (24).

And yes, Alexander-Arnold attempts far more passes than most. He tops that stat by 20 at Liverpool but there’s a difference between the Scouser and everyone else.

Alexander-Arnold attempts far more difficult passes than anyone. For instance, he’s attempted over 100 more passes above shoulder height than anyone else, and 19 more ‘low’ passes.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool trust him to pass in ways they simply don’t allow anyone else.

But we want to stick on that ‘progressive passes’ stat. To go over it again, it’s a pass that moves the ball forward at least 10 yards and must be further forward than the team has been in any of the previous six passes.

Alexander-Arnold is second in the Premier League for this, two behind Joao Cancelo. That’s despite playing two fewer games than the Manchester City man and attempting 180 fewer passes.

Alexander-Arnold is the best in the league at it – comfortably. Essentially, he moves Liverpool forward 10 times a game, which is a phenomenal rate that no one else can match.

He’s not just one of the best passers at Liverpool – he may be the best in the country.

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