With Liverpool looking to get back to trophy winning ways after an disappointing 2022/23 campaign, fans are starting to make their final season predictions
So with this new-look Liverpool looking as creative as they've been in a long time, who will get the most assists?
When it comes to predicting who will get the most goals for Liverpool in any given year, the answer is likely two simple words: Mohamed Salah. He's undeniable and he's guaranteed to bag around 30 in all competitions every year.
However, for perhaps the first time under Jurgen Klopp, one of the biggest strengths in Liverpool's midfield is its creativity.
Having access to the likes of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai in the midfield, alongside creative masters in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson - not to mention the fluidity between our attacking players - means that working out who will end the season with the most assists in all competitions is slightly more tricky.
Anfield Watch posted a poll to X (Twitter) Wednesday morning to try and gauge who fans back to top the pile, and the results were incredibly close...
Who will get the most assists for Liverpool this season, and why, Reds? 🎯
If you think someone else, comment below 👇
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) August 23, 2023
After more than 12,000 fans had their say, Alexander-Arnold ended with the most votes by the slimmest of margins. The scouser pulled 31.5% of the votes but the top three (Salah and Szoboszlai, with 30.7% and 29.6% respectively) were amazingly within 2% of each other, demonstrating how difficult of a prediction it is to make this year.
Mac Allister understandably got a much smaller percentage of the votes (just 8.2%) - not through a lack of appreciation for the World Cup winner's creativity no doubt, but more to do with the Argentine playing a deeper role so far this season.
While Robertson will feel hard done by to not be included, but again, due to playing a more defensive role in the new system, it makes sense.
So with that said, let's look a bit deeper into who may get the most assists this season.
While obviously an extremely close finish, Liverpool's scouser ultimately got the most votes, and it's hard to argue against him.
Not only is he one of the best passers in world football, but he has proven time and time again that he will be in and amongst the top assisters at the club every single year.
Trent will. He always does.
— Your Favorite Last Born (Smiley 😀) ✨🇳🇬 (@KunleOgunnubi) August 23, 2023
As X user @KunleOgunnubi concisely explained, the sensible vote has to go to the Englishman, because of his exemplary track record – it's what he does.
This is a man who broke the record for most assists by a defender in a single Premier League season... that he already held after breaking the same record a year prior.
Alexander-Arnold has already proven he is the most creative player in Liverpool's squad, and all from right-back. If Jurgen Klopp continues to deploy the 3-box-3 system that sees his number 66 operate more in the midfield, the goal contributions he could get this season is an exciting thought to say the least.
Coming in second place, Salah is another fairly safe bet. The winger's bottom line numbers are fantastic every single season, almost to the point where he is taken for granted by some.
Last season, the Egyptian not only finished as Liverpool's top goal scorer in all competitions, but top assister too (16) - five ahead of his nearest teammate Robertson and six ahead of Alexander-Arnold.
Ignoring his world-class ability, one of the key reasons as to why his numbers are so good is his availability. Salah is simply never injured and plays almost every single game for Liverpool (even though this season will be a slight exception with the player's international duties at the Africa Cup of Nations scheduled for early next year).
As well as that, in the new system, Salah has often found himself pushed further out wide because of the more advanced midfielders occupying the inside left and right positions. Therefore, he could potentially score less goals across a season, his opportunities to provide an assist are going to increase massively with him slightly further away from the goal.
I think mo will. He’s gonna have a lot more freedom on the wing with a more mobile middle field. I think he’ll get more goals and assists than last campaign
— American Red (@LFCAmericanReds) August 23, 2023
As @LFCAmericanReds explained in response to the poll, Salah's increased presence on the wing under the new system could lead to the forward grabbing even more goal contributions this campaign.
This is actually evidenced in Liverpool's pre-season campaign - Salah scored twice but registered seven assists (four more than any other player in the squad). While this isn't representative of a competitive season, the Egyptian is also already off the mark with one assist in the Premier League, despite only playing two games so far.
Finally, Szoboszlai is also a potential candidate to top the club's assist charts, even if it is his debut season.
For staters, the Hungarian is not only an incredibly creative player who makes penetrative runs into the box, but assuming Cody Gakpo's midfield stint was only because of a lack of options at the beginning of the season, Szoboszlai will likely be the most advanced player in the Reds' midfield.
On another day, we could be sitting here talking about how the club's new number eight already has two assists after two games in the Premier league. He won the corner that if Salah had buried first time of answer, he would have been awarded his first assist, while he also essentially set up Diogo Jota's goal to make it 3-1, after his long-range strike was deflected into the forward's path.
He was instrumental in our win, and it was only the second competitive game of the season.
Also, as explained by @kilba57272, a key point that goes in the Hungarian's favour is that he is currently on corner duty, and he is also very likely to have at least some responsibility on free-kicks, which could boost his numbers.
Dom from corners but the fluidity down the right could be any of them
— Harry Kilbane (@kilba57272) August 24, 2023
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
Each of the above players have clear reasons why they could be the top assister this year - Alexander-Arnold has his track record, Salah has his slight position change, and Szoboszlai has his ability from a dead ball.
There's a reason the poll is so close.
If I had to choose between the three, I'd say Liverpool's number 66 is the most likely to top the charts. Partly because of my (slightly tongue in cheek) prediction that the Scouser will break the Premier League assist record this season, but also because he is by far the most creative player in the squad.
There's a reason he's got 54 Premier League assists and 76 in all competitions to his name at such a young age, and now that Liverpool's entire system has changed with the aim of getting the best out of the generational talent's attacking brilliance, it's certainly hard to go against him.