Liverpool FC's 2016-2017 season in review: Player ratings

Liverpool FC's 2016-2017 season in review: Player ratings

This past season saw the rise and fall of many Liverpool stars as the club went on to finish in the top-four.

maxwell-hogg
Maxwell Hogg

The 2016-2017 Premier League season came to a close last Sunday, with Liverpool achieving their goal of bringing European nights back to Anfield

While some may have hoped for more, overall the season was a success for the Reds. So while fans wait for news of summer signings, let's take a look back at the performances of the players who helped restore Liverpool back to the top-four, for this season at least.

For clarity, players with less than 10 appearances have been omitted.

Simon Mignolet - 7

It was another rollercoaster season for Simon Mignolet, but thankfully there were more ups than downs this time around.

Mignolet started the season as Liverpool’s No.1, but was dropped in favour of new signing Loris Karius in mid-September, a harsh decision given his solid performance in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge just a week prior.

The Belgian would make his return to the side following Karius’ disastrous December, and wouldn’t relinquish his spot for the rest of the season. With some crucial saves in the final weeks, Mignolet had some of the best matches of his Liverpool career to help the Reds to a top-four finish.

No. of Premier League appearances: 31 (28)
Goals conceded: 31 (30)
No. of clean sheets: 11 (9)

Loris Karius - 4.5

German goalkeeper Karius was brought in to provide Mignolet with actual competition, something the likes of Ádám Bogdán couldn’t really provide.

While Liverpool mostly won with him in the side, the 'keeper really wasn’t asked much in those victories. Other than a stellar outing against Watford, his season will be widely remember for his awful mistakes against Bournemouth and West Ham.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 16 (10)
Goals conceded: 16 (12)
No. of clean sheets: 6 (3)

Nathaniel Clyne – 7

Clyne enjoyed another full season in the starting XI, playing more minutes than any other Liverpool player.

He was defensively solid as he was last season, but drew criticism for offering little going forward. With a bit of competition at the right-back position, Clyne could flourish in upcoming seasons.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 41 (37)  
Goals: 0
Assists: 3 (2) 

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6.5

The youngster only made 12 appearances this season, but played with the confidence and quality expected of someone far beyond his age.

While he certainly wasn’t a game changer in the matches he featured in, the West Derby-born teenager got the job done.

Aged 18, Alexander-Arnold certainly has a future with the club and can hopefully provide the aforementioned competition that Clyne needs.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 12 (7)  
Goals: 0
Assists: 1 (0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joël Matip – 7.5

Matip had a sensational first-half of the season, providing the height, physicality, and composure the Liverpool defense so sorely lacked.

Injuries would plague the Cameroonian's first campaign on Merseyside, suffering five throughout the campaign. This made it hard for Matip to maintain his form.

Despite a dip in quality in the second-half of the season, Matip proved to be an excellent signing and a top piece of business, coming to Liverpool on a free transfer. The future of the Reds' central backbone.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 32 (29)  
Goals: (1)
Assists: 0

Dejan Lovren – 6

Liverpool’s designated scapegoat. All jokes aside, Lovren had another frustrating season for the Reds. The man has shown flashes of brilliance like in the trip to Stamford Bridge, but has made countless mistakes all season to make you forget about his good qualities.

He also has trouble staying fit, but doesn’t have the quality to make up for his absences. Suffering eight injuries in a single season is unfortunate, but not completely forgivable.

If Liverpool want to challenge for the title and avoid an early Champions League exit, Lovren simply must be upgraded this summer. He is of a decent standard, but not the elite level of a top side that Liverpool aspire to be.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 33 (29)  
Goals: (2)
Assists: (1)

Ragnar Klavan – 6

Klavan was brought in to provide back-up for Matip and Lovren and the Estonian filled his role quite well.

There isn't much to say on the experienced defender. He had a great performance away at Everton and also at home to Manchester City, but was unremarkable in most of his displays and made some errors.

A dependable back-up, but nothing more - as shown by some poor games when he had a regular run in the team.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 25 (20)  
Goals: 1
Assists: 0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Milner – 6.5

Is there anywhere Milner can’t play on the pitch? Many would argue no, but his presence at left-back was more of a testament to the distrust of Alberto Moreno than his own ability.

While he was reliable in defence, Milner didn’t offer much going forward when Liverpool’s attack stagnated. Although having him on the pitch to take penalties is a plus, as he netted seven of eight.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 40 (36)  
Goals: (7) (all penalties)
Assists: 4 (3)

Alberto Moreno – 4

Moreno had to prove himself after his terrible performance in the Europa League final last May. Instead, he put in a similarly bad performance on opening day against Arsenal and sat on the bench for a majority of the season.

Not many redeeming qualities besides his pace. With the late sub against Middlesbrough, it looked like a curtain call for Moreno’s Anfield career.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 18 (12)
Goals: 0
Assists: (1)

Lucas Leiva – 6

Lucas came in to the side closer to the end of the season as injuries began to pile up.

He was at his best when in the midfield, but his performance in defense at Borunemouth can’t be forgotten. His experience in midfield showed and offered a good physical presence.

While everyone appreciates Lucas’ contribution to the club, Liverpool needs more quality than what he can offer.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 31 (24)
Goals: 1
Assists: (3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jordan Henderson – 7

Henderson grew into his deep-lying midfielder role well despite some average performances early on. His displays would end up being integral to Liverpool’s success.

Unfortunately, his season ended early due to injury and his absence was surely felt. Hopefully Henderson’s fitness improves going forward with several recent campaigns now wrecked by injury.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 27 (24)
Goals: (1)
Assists: (4)

Emre Can – 7

Can was the most polarising figure amongst the fans this season, with some fans calling for him to be sold at one point.

Their criticism wasn’t unfounded. Can played a large portion of the season while not fully fit, and as a result he put in a number of poor performances that belied his quality.

As Can’s fitness increased, he put in a number of season-defining displays that helped lead the Reds back to Europe.  And who could forget his wonder strike against Watford? 

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 40 (32)
Goals: (5)
Assists: 3 (2)

Gini Wijnaldum – 8

Wijnaldum seemed like an underwhelming signing last summer, but went on to be one of Liverpool’s most influential players.

His season was defined by under-the-radar brilliance. Gini seemed to always be available for a pass at all times and really helped command the midfield from his box-to-box central role.

Gini also scored important goals against Manchester City, Arsenal, and Chelsea as well as one on the final day against Boro to show that the Dutchman is the man to call upon in a big game.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 42 (36)
Goals: 6
Assists: 11 (9)

Adam Lallana – 7.5

Lallana keeps getting better year-in year-out and 2016-2017 was no different.

Arguably one of the best players in the league at the start of the season, injuries ended up affecting Lallana in the final stretch of the season as he went a long stretch without any goals or assists, though he was incredibly successful in a deeper midfield role throughout the campaign - upping his output in both.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 35 (31)
Goals: (8)
Assists: (7)

Philippe Coutinho – 8.5

Once again, Coutinho was Liverpool’s main man and had an excellent season.

The Brazilian started his season on fire with a two-goal performance at Arsenal and was unstoppable until he suffered an injury in November. When he returned, Coutinho struggled to replicate his earlier displays until the end of the season, though he finished with a flourish.

Coutinho finished the season Liverpool’s top goalscorer with 14 goals, his best return in a single season.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 36 (31)
Goals: 14 (13)
Assists: 9 (7)

Sadio Mané – 9

Hands down the signing of the season, Sadio Mané helped transform Liverpool into the most dangerous attack in the league at times in the season.

While many had doubts on his quality in the summer, Mané was truly the complete package. Pace, skill, movement, and finishing were staples of Mané as he consistently tore up the opposition, scoring 13 goals in 29 games.

Beyond just signing of the season, Sadio Mané truly was the Player of the Season for Liverpool, if only he hadn't have had African Cup of Nations duty and then been injured towards the end of the season.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 29 (27)
Goals: (13)
Assists: 8 (6)

Roberto Firmino – 8

It was just Firmino’s second season with the club, and he already has proven himself to be one of the most reliable players in Jürgen Klopp’s system.

While he was better in some roles than others, Firmino always seemed to make an impact wherever he lined up on the field. He was at his best when leading the line with his high work-rate.

While Firmino does excel at leading the line, the question is where he will be utilised next season if Liverpool go big on a striker in the coming transfer window. Still, a double figure return for a second straight year is impressive.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 41 (35)
Goals: 12 (11)
Assists: 10 (11)

Divock Origi – 6.5

After Origi’s brilliant performances at the end of the 2015-2016 season, the expectations were high for the young Belgian. Sadly, he ended up coming short of those expectations, frustrating supporters.

While Origi does have wonderful pace and good finishing ability, his decision-making was poor and really dulled the Liverpool attack at times.

The bright side is he still young and has plenty of time to grow as a player, but it doesn’t hide the fact that this was a largely disappointing season for Origi despite runs of goalscoring form.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 43 (34)
Goals: 11 (7)
Assists: (4)

Daniel Sturridge – 5.5

One has to wonder when Liverpool’s patience with Daniel Sturridge is going to run out. Once again, Sturridge missed most of the season through injury was mainly an after-thought.

It wasn’t until the final two weeks that Sturridge reminded the Kop of the quality of he possesses, creating quite the problem for the club concerning his future.

While there is still debate on whether he should be sold this summer, Sturridge is still an extremely talented player, which makes his injuries and poor performances just that much more disappointing.

No. of appearances in all competitions (league): 20 (27)
Goals: 10 (6)
Assists: 5 (4)

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