The 2016/17 campaign was a rollercoaster ride for Liverpool, with what looked like an early title challenge fading away to hanging on to fourth place and qualification for the Champions League qualifiers in August.
However, with a top four finish secured, it can only be considered a success by the Reds, with Jurgen Klopp working wonders in his first full season at Anfield after his arrival in October 2015.
With the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho shining up front with quick movement and attacking play, there is no shortage of players to pick out for praise this season.
Equally, at the other end of the scale, a handful of key figures have disappointed this campaign when more could have been expected of them when the need arose, with injuries proving a real disruption in Liverpool’s season.
Whilst it’s clear that Liverpool will need to add to their squad in order to compete on Europe’s elite stage next season, the squad has done a good job in reaching its target for this season.
Check out The Boot Room’s three best and worst Reds’ players from the 2016/17 season…
Liverpool’s player of the year, the Senegal winger was sensational for Liverpool throughout the season. In his absence, the Reds fell apart, struggling for form when he was at the African Cup of Nations in January and after he picked up an injury at the end of the season, and he’ll be much needed next season if the side want to challenge for the title.
Lallana has been inspired this season and has continued to improve under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp. In an advanced midfield role, his pressing has been crucial to Klopp’s style of play and he’s also made steps with his finishing and end product, scoring more goals this season than he has in any other Premier League campaign since his move to Merseyside.
Since replacing Loris Karius mid-season, Mignolet has been almost unrecognisable from the goalkeeper who lost his place and failed to convince Jurgen Klopp of his abilities last season. Now, it seems that the Reds won’t be looking for a new shot stopper next season with Mignolet seemingly having done enough to earned himself a second chance.
There’s no doubting that the young Belgian has quality, but too often the striker has frustrated Liverpool fans this season. His hit and miss form has meant that when the goals have dried up he has offered next to nothing to the Reds’ play, with many Premier League defences learning to expect him to cut inside and attempt to curl a shot into the far post.
He may only have cost £4 million, but when he was signed he was expected to become the club’s first choice goalkeeper. When he earned his opportunity after missing the start of the campaign through injury, he was so poor that he lost the jersey. A good shot stopper, his all round play has been disappointing, flapping at crosses and unnerving the Anfield faithful with the ball at his feet.
A harsh selection, but the truth is that if Liverpool want to compete at the highest level, James Milner is not the left-back that they need. Relatively solid defensively and good from 12 yards, Milner has failed to contribute going forwards and lacks the pace to burst down the wing to support attacks, something that Liverpool have struggled with up against lower half teams content to sit deep.
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