It has been a long time coming, but Liverpool have finally won the English League and in some style. And there’s no doubt the Reds deserved their title, a huge 18 points clear by the end of the season.
While most neutrals expected Manchester City to make it three Premier League titles on the bounce, Jurgen Klopp had other ideas.
By Christmas the Premier League 2020 betting odds had swung firmly in Liverpool’s favour, and a 5-3 victory over Chelsea in their final home game of the season prompted wild celebrations among the players who could at last lift the trophy they have worked so hard for.
To pick the players who made the most difference is a tough task when each and every one of the Reds could stake a claim, but here are my four.
Virgil van Dijk
He cost a cool £75-M when he signed from Southampton in the summer of 2018 which was a world record at the time, but there was little doubt that Virgil van Dijk would repay that hefty price tag and some.
His towering performances inspired Liverpool to the 2019 Champions League and almost to the Premier League.
And this season he has been imperious again, alongside England star Joe Gomez, as the Reds conceded just 33 goals which is the lowest in the league.
His international partnership with Matthijs de Ligt has lifted the Netherlands up alongside the best nations on the planet. And at Liverpool, he is the best centre-back in the Premier League.
He was third in the Premier League assists table with 12, behind the prolific Kevin de Bruyne and his teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold who made 13.
But Andy Robertson, the flying Scot, gets my pick because of his all-round game.
Since his £8-M switch from Hull City in 2017, which is arguably the signing of the decade, he has been one of the first names in the team-sheet – making 95 appearances.
He’s one of the best left-backs in the world. His pace, energy and crossing ability make him a potent attacking threat, but he also reads the game well and can snuff out an attack with a well-timed tackle – rarely getting caught out by fleet of foot opponents.
Head coach Jurgen Klopp has assembled such a stunning array of attacking talent at Anfield that we could choose pretty much any of them.
Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have been mainstays in the Premier League 2020 highlights and have bagged 19 and 18 goals respectively while Firmino had a rather more modest return of nine.
But his link-up play has once again been outstanding. The Brazilian has a beautifully deft touch and can thread a ball through the eye of a needle to put through Salah or Mane.
While his teammates hit the net more frequently, he is rarely out of the picture. With 57 goals and 35 assists from his 175 games for the Reds since his arrival five seasons ago, his contributions have been invaluable.
Firmino has already been on target in the preseason, scoring the opener in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart, and Reds fans are looking forward to seeing Bobby’s dazzling play and teeth again in the 2020/21 campaign!
But the man who has done more to bring the title back to Merseyside than anyone else has to be Liverpool’s captain courageous Jordan Henderson.
He’s been at the club for nine seasons since his £16-M switch from Sunderland back in 2011.
Having made an unspectacular start to his career on Merseyside, he has grown into a captain who leads by example and a player who can be relied on no matter how tough the going gets.
It was noticeable when Liverpool had a minor blip in 2020 with a first league defeat to ultimately relegated Watford and an FA Cup exit to Chelsea, and it came when Henderson was out with an injury. On his return, normal service was resumed as the Reds coasted to the title.
As a box-to-box midfielder, Henderson really came into his own when Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard retired and he was described by Flamengo manager Jorge Jesus as the best midfielder in the world in his position.
Henderson is the new Mr. Liverpool.
So there you go. 2019/20 is over and the new Premier League season is just around the corner.
Of course we’ll be all over it here at SBOTOP, and there is one thing we can be sure of. These four players will be starring for the Reds as they begin the defence of their title.
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