Anthony Gordon makes things HAPPEN - It's time to bring him home to Liverpool

Despite the narratives online, Anthony Gordon does not have more yellow cards than goals this season.

The Newcastle United forward finished the 2023/24 campaign with 11 goals and just 10 yellow cards. He also chipped in with 10 assists too.

Prior to last term though, the 23-year-old had struggled with his end product. He was raw, inconsistent and immature during his time with Everton and the £45 million transfer to Newcastle United in January 2023 seemed like a huge overpayment. After all, across his 3,400 minutes for the Toffees, the versatile winger scored seven goals and picked up 10 cautions. 

It was a steep fee for a player with fewer than 10 league goals to his name. It was also a bit of a gamble to pay such a fee for an erratic attacker. 

Though having said that, all young attackers probably fall into this category. 

However, he did struggle to bed in initially and scored just a single goal for the Magpies in his first half-season with the club. He also picked up a yellow card. So, you know, at least he was consistent with his cards-to-goals ratio. 

Yet the transfer fee paid for him by Newcastle 18 months ago is now looking like a real bargain. And talk that he might be on Liverpool’s radar does, perhaps surprisingly, make a lot of sense. Who would’ve pictured this just 12 months ago? 

This alone highlights how things can dramatically differ over the course of a Premier League season. 

Gordon completes the 'double-double'

Gordon is one of just four players to have completed the double-double this term with 11 goals and 10 assists.  This is an exclusive group of players. 

The only other players to have done the double-double this season are Mohamed Salah, Cole Palmer and Ollie Watkins. 

Bukayo Saka, Heung-Min Son, Julian Alvarez and Leon Bailey are one assist short. Darwin Nunez and Bruno Fernandes are both two assists short. 

Anthony Gordon for Newcastle United vs Liverpool

Liverpool, England, 1st January 2024. Anthony Gordon of Newcastle United runs between Dominik Szoboszlai and Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture credit should read: Gary Oakley / Sportimage EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. SPI-2845-0077

Only two players - Saka and Salah - managed it during the 2022/23 season. It really isn’t as common as you might think. And, more often than not, the players to achieve this feat are either turning out for teams competing at the top end of the table or they are on penalty duty. 

Gordon has just one penalty to his name this term and he’s been turning out for an inconsistent Newcastle side. 

The fact he’s managed the double-double is no small feat. So, yeah, he has my attention. He should have your attention too. Because while he might be a bit of a diver, his output in the final third is enough to make you turn a blind eye to those antics. Does that make me a hypocrite? Probably. But the underlying numbers kind of make up for it.

Gordon's astonishing numbers

 For example, since the move to St James’ Park, Gordon has an Expected Goals per 90 average of 0.31. The sample size is decent enough too (3.300 minutes). He’s a goal threat and he’s posting these averages despite having just 2.1 shots per 90. 

The Newcastle No10 isn’t just reliant on volume for his xG average like some attackers. Based on those numbers, he’s a sustainable and reliable threat in the final third. Whereas last season, in those limited minutes, he underperformed his xG, this season he’s on par. That happens as a player matures and develops. 

He’s also a bit of a creator too. He’s massively overperforming his Expected Assists total (5.6) but his per 90 average of 0.17 has been consistent now across three seasons and multiple clubs. This seems scalable in a better team. The Liverpool-born attacker is also averaging over four shot-creating actions this season. He’s also averaging almost four progressive carries per 90 this term and he’s won six penalties in the Premier League. 

He makes things happen. 

Gordon a mentality monster

Gordon is relentless without the ball, often harassing opposition defenders. His explosive pace helps this too. Per Sky Sports in February, the versatile attacker had racked up the sixth-highest top speed in the English top-flight this season. 

What I really like, though, is his mentality. 

Last season, the former Everton man scored or assisted in games against Liverpool,  Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Spurs, Chelsea and Aston Villa. He scored opening goals and winners. If this is the norm, I don't think anyone will mind if he's always picking up yellow cards. 

He’s a big-game player and Liverpool need as many of them as possible in their team. Now, there isn’t an obvious space for him in this squad but with Luis Diaz rumoured to be a Barcelona transfer target, a move for the boyhood red could be on the cards later on in the transfer window

Newcastle United might not need to sell now having magically banked over £60m by selling Yankuba Minteh and Elliot Anderson but they might find themselves in a bit of a predicament soon with Gordon now into the final two years of his deal at St James’ Park. 

It isn't now or never for Gordon but right now is the best opportunity to bring the Newcastle No10 back to Merseyside.

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