Part 3 – Attack
Having considerably improved Liverpool’s attacking output in 2016/17 (scoring 26% more goals per game), it was a tough ask to do so again this season, but the manager and his team managed it comfortably. They famously scored more goals in a Champions League campaign (47) than any other team in history, and by scoring 2.41 goals per game in all comps, Klopp’s charges improved by 23% in 2017/18 to almost match Brendan Rodgers’ outstanding attacking unit of 2013/14 (2.56 per game). Just a 7% increase next season will surpass the Sturridge/Suárez/Sterling vintage, but how can we possibly do that?
It’s tough to imagine Salah scoring quite as many again with opponents now more than aware of his threat, a lot of Firmino’s work is when he drops deeper and feeds either Salah or Mané – is he sufficiently goal-hungry to trump his 27 goals from this season? – and Mané increasingly drifted into a no.10 slot from out wide as the season progressed, happy (we assume) to let Salah be the primary threat in behind.
For me, the key will be how we supplement our terrifyingly terrific trio. We need more goals from midfield, sure, but we also need to be able to rely on the forwards who play when one of our main men is unavailable or being rested.
NB: Remember to read David Fitzgerald’s assessment of our youth players and loanees (https://tomkinstimes.com/2018/06/whos-going-to-make-it-reviewing-liverpools-youth-summer-2018/). Apart from a very brief bit at the end, I’m featuring only those who were regular first-team squad members in the season just gone.
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